MEAT & Livestock Australia has today launched its own web-based greenhouse gas calculator, based on a Federal Government recognised tool known as the Sheep and Beef Greenhouse Accounting Framework (SB-GAF).
The digitised version of the SB-GAF tool is based off the freely available excel version of the tool available on the Primary Industries Climate Challenges Centre website to ensure consistency across the sector.
Plenty of resources have been made available to help producers measure their emissions, with producer groups, service companies and the University of Melbourne making resources available to help producers fill out SB-GAF.
MLA managing director, Jason Strong, said completing a carbon account was an important first step for producers to increase their carbon awareness and determine what their net GHG emissions position is, so they can identify strategies to reduce these emissions and improve carbon storage on-farm.
“Calculating baseline carbon emissions and sequestered carbon is an essential first step for producers who are considering opportunities arising from low or zero carbon red meat, such as carbon-neutral branded products, or who simply want to improve their productivity and profitability.
“A carbon account can be used in on-farm decision making and sets a benchmark to show progress over time. Just as financial accounting aids financial decision making and reporting, carbon accounting aids decision making and reporting around how carbon is – or is not – utilised on-farm.
“The calculator also enables the calculation of an emissions intensity figure and improves on-farm data collection and storage capabilities.
“Calculation and reporting of on-farm emissions and emissions intensity for red meat products are likely to be a requirement for on-going and emerging market access in the future and the improvement to the usability of this process will support red meat producers in the process.”
The calculator will provide a baseline carbon account with total greenhouse gas emissions for the property and the emissions intensity of product produced.
A carbon account includes two key elements: GHG emissions, including: enteric methane from ruminant production and carbon dioxide from fossil fuels, as well as direct and indirect emissions of nitrous oxide from fertiliser application and excreta and methane from manure.
The other key element when developing a carbon account is the carbon related to vegetation and soils on-farm.
Reducing greenhouse gases can yield a range of benefits, including increased productivity and long-term sustainability, improving consumer and community support, and solidifying existing market access.
Carbon accounts also provide accessibility to new and emerging markets for products demonstrating environmental stewardship credentials, as well as access to capital and ensuring the adaptation and resilience of red meat production in the face of changing climatic conditions.
- Check out the new online GHG calculator
- Learn more about the SB-GAF tool here
- Learn more about carbon accounting here
The question I would ask is why bother doing it?
MLA said decades ago now, we had to do NLIS and LPA. Otherwise we will lose market access. And yet here we are today decades later. Competing for market share with the USA with their no national schemes, and on top of that we see USA producers currently getting around AU$3500 for their steers at the abattoir while here in Australia about now you would be lucky to get in Central Queensland, the beef capital of Australia, AU$2500 for a steer ex-abattoir.
Still waiting for MLA to tell us what they will do to producers who refuse to meet MLA’s self proclaimed CN30 target
Couldn’t agree more