When people hear the term ‘carbon farming’, a variety of images tend to be conjured in their minds – many of which are extreme in their scale and methodologies: Large tracts of land replanted. Significant herd adjustments. Or land locked up and left to grow wild.
But the truth is, many eligible on-farm methodologies available for earning carbon credits are surprisingly simple and easy to achieve – and absolutely do not involve locking up the land.
With the right science and support, even simple changes can be revolutionary, and go a long way to improving on-farm production – better for the environment and your business. As such, entering the carbon market is getting easier and easier for land managers looking to unlock revenue, and – we’ll say it again – does not involve locking up the land.
After a thorough auditing process, a carbon partner – like GreenCollar – might introduce you to some of the subtle ways you can help store carbon and improve environmental outcomes, while maintaining optimum agribusiness operations. Projects will be co-designed based on the existing methodologies available and the unique usage, history and needs of your land, and you’ll be able to reduce emissions while earning valuable carbon credits in the process.
As many sectors of Australian agriculture benefit from La Niña’s increased rainfall, farmers, graziers and other land managers may be planning to clear more land for a high-yield season. But this planned clearing and deforestation is at odds with what the climate and often the land needs: more native vegetation protected in more places to increase shade, store carbon and support biodiversity. Land managers who have previously applied for clearing permits in NSW or that can demonstrate an historic pattern of clearing in QLD, can earn carbon credits by ‘avoiding’ this practice and instead protect those forests for up to 100 years, helping to decrease atmospheric CO2 and ensure the longevity of affected landscapes.
In the process of tilling soil to get ready for planting, the practice of ploughing or breaking up ground can expose carbon stored in that soil to air, which microbes then convert into C02. While exposing lower levels of soil is essential for sowing seeds, your carbon project developer might suggest earning credits by implementing ‘no-till’ or low-disruption methods – for example, placing seeds directly into holes drilled into the earth. According to recent studies, this practice may lower emissions from crop production by nearly a third, and can unlock significant carbon revenue for your farm.
Soil protection isn’t just for crop farmers. Livestock managers looking to protect their soil from hoof disturbance or exposure through overgrazing, might consider a variety of herd movement practices that put less pressure on the earth. Implementing a rotational grazing practice is a popular methodology available to many farmers to ease the chances of overgrazing or vegetation suppression, and can earn carbon revenue that can then be reinvested into the business in terms of new infrastructure or other sustainable changes.
Here at GreenCollar, we believe that farmers, graziers and other land managers should be supported in achieving their potential to truly impact the climate situation. So whatever carbon farming methods your project developer deems most suitable for your land, you can rest easy knowing they’re only going to augment your traditional agriculture goals rather than drastically alter them. And because carbon farming practices are more sustainable, they have the added benefit of enhancing the long-term productivity of your land for the next generation as well.