Skip to main content

Carbon farming 101

Carbon farming 101: How land managers can generate additional revenue by helping the environment

As Australia’s largest and most successful carbon project developer, GreenCollar works with graziers, farmers and land managers across Australia to help them enhance agricultural resilience and productivity while generating an additional and reliable new income stream through carbon farming.

What is carbon farming?

By changing the way land is managed, carbon farming projects generate income for land managers by reducing greenhouse gas emissions through storing carbon in vegetation and soil. Land managers who undertake a carbon project get paid to implement new land management practices through the sale of carbon credits, known as Australian Carbon Credit Units (ACCUs), that are generated by the on-farm actions. One carbon credit represents one tonne of carbon dioxide that has been stored in vegetation or soil and thus prevented from entering the atmosphere. Land managers can sell these carbon credits under a government-run offsets program known as the Emissions Reduction Fund (ERF), or to individuals and companies wishing to voluntarily offset their emissions.

What counts as a carbon farming project?

Eligible carbon farming activities vary depending on the land and the agricultural enterprise. They may include changing the way livestock is managed, protecting native vegetation at risk of clearing, regenerating or reforesting native vegetation, or improving soil carbon (and therefore soil quality). For example, by utilising rotational grazing, timed grazing and rest areas to allow native forest to recover, farmers can encourage tree growth on their land. As a result, carbon is stored in vegetation and biomass collects on the ground, which in turn collects topsoil and encourages healthy pasture growth. The process of storing this carbon in the vegetation generates tangible ACCUs.

Why should I do a carbon project?

While they are paid directly for the environmental service of storing or abating carbon, land managers engaged in carbon farming projects reap a range of benefits for themselves, their business, their communities and the environment by enhancing the long-term productivity and sustainability of the land. The additional income from carbon credits enables landholders to further invest in their land and business. The far-reaching benefits may include financing infrastructure and management changes, mitigating risk by providing a reliable drought-resistant income, and improving natural capital and the surrounding environment while providing income and secure jobs to rural communities.

Importantly, land managers undertaking carbon farming projects with GreenCollar don’t have to destock or lock up the land. We work in partnership with farmers to develop suitable methods that allow carbon projects and agriculture operations to co-exist, with the goal of keeping operations running at optimal capacity.

How does carbon farming align with regenerative agriculture?

Regenerative agriculture is an environmental approach to farming that works in synergy with carbon farming projects. Regenerative farming involves grazing practices that improve land quality by boosting the amount of carbon in the soil, improving water retention and helping increase soil quality and biodiversity. Land managers need good quality soil for the long term sustainability of their operation. By working in tandem, carbon farming projects and regenerative agriculture can deliver even greater outcomes for land managers as well as action on climate change.

When done well, carbon farming projects help land managers identify and use more sustainable practices that help heal the land and generate productive new revenue streams.

Learn more about the significant environmental benefits of carbon farming here.

Related Articles

07 Feb 2022

Improving soil (and the planet) with carbon farming

Healthy soil is the foundation of a strong agriculture industry. But it can also absorb almost twice as much C02 as plants and the atmosphere combined, making it a central player in the fight against climate change.
03 Feb 2022

3 simple carbon practices revolutionising sustainable agriculture 

These three simple carbon practices are revolutionising sustainable agriculture.
31 Jan 2022

What are Plastic Credits and how are they generated?

With our first batch of Australian-based Plastic Credits poised for release, Plastic Credits are now available for purchase. What are they – and how do they help people and the...
20 Jan 2022

Method stacking is coming. Here’s what it means for your business

Discover the Government-approved method stacking concept set to help more land managers and Traditional Owners participate in the carbon market.
17 Jan 2022

What carbon farming can do for your bottom line

When done well, carbon farming can be a powerful tool for improving on-farm productivity.
13 Jan 2022

What do the results from COP26 mean for farmers?

Every year, COP26 highlights the roles every industry can play in averting future climate disaster. As we enter a New Year, we pulled out the main takeaways from 2021 for Australia’s agricultural sector.
22 Dec 2021

The flow-on benefits of Reef Credits

The benefits of Reef Credits are vast, both for land managers and the protection of the Great Barrier Reef.
22 Dec 2021

Carbon Offsets in Australia: Everything You Need to Know

Carbon offsets are fast becoming an effective way for businesses to quantify ESG investments.