Carbon

Western Qld’s Sam Curr to launch on-farm carbon measurement app

Eric Barker, 20/01/2023

Sam Curr

A WESTERN Queensland-based Marcus Oldham graduate is set to release an app to assist producers in measuring their carbon footprint, with the aim of streamlining an industry-standard methodology.

The app is based off the Sheep and Beef Greenhouse Accounting Framework calculator, otherwise known as SB- GAF, which has been promoted by organisations like Meat & Livestock Australia.

Sam Curr, whose family runs a cattle, sheep and goat property near Aramac, said the aim was to make the emissions calculator easy to use.

“SB-GAF is a Government tool that the University of Melbourne have designed, and it is a heap of big, bulky, heavy-duty spreadsheets,” Mr Curr said.

“Basically, we have taken all of the information needed to fill out that calculator and turned it into an app, which is simple and practical to use.”

The SB-GAF calculator takes in factors like land area, vegetation area, livestock numbers, live weights and live weight gains, dry matter intake, supplementation, fertilizer use, diesel consumption and electricity usage before calculating it into a carbon score.

“Most farmers would have the data needed to fill out the calculator, they would nearly know it off the top of their head,” Mr Curr said.

“It might only take a day or half-a-day to put the data together and then the app is about a 10 step process. Once you’ve completed the data entry it will generate a carbon certificate with your emissions or emissions intensity per kg of product or tonne of grain.”

From fencing contractor to carbon entrepreneur

Mr Curr’s upbringing was different to the worlds of web development and carbon calculation. He grew up on a station in Western Qld and became a fencing contractor after finishing school.

Studying at Marcus Oldham alerted him to the growing pressure the agricultural industry was facing to demonstrate its environmental credentials.

“There is a lot of talk about banks asking for this information and a lot of pressure from the top 200 companies in Australia to reduce emissions,” he said.

“When I was at Marcus, we did a few tours to different farms around Victoria and South Australia and this was all relatively new to the farmers and us as students. These farmers were clearly feeling the pressure and were finding it difficult to know where to start.

“Carbon consultants and different businesses have popping up everywhere and charging a lot of money – that’s why I thought it would be good to give farmers something they could do themselves at low cost.”

Mr Curr has been testing the app on his home Glenample Station, near Aramac.

“We have cattle, sheep and goats at home so it has been an ideal scenario to be trialling it as we are going,” he said.

“Next week, we are going to start trialling it with 20 or 30 producers around Western Qld to get some feedback. Then we are heading down to Victoria to work alongside some corporate companies to start rolling it out in their business.”

Mr Curr said carbon and emissions reduction presented plenty of opportunity for the agricultural industry.

“There are endless opportunities and I think it will be important for agriculture to stay ahead of the game to keep it in positive eyes,” he said.

“It will be really interesting to see where a lot of operations stand when we roll out the app and do some benchmarking.”

  • Mr Curr is hoping to launch the “My Footprint” app in the first week of February

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Comments

  1. Rob Liley, 21/01/2023

    Sounds simple. It’s not. Type and age of trees on farm protected and sequestration rates? Upstream and down stream foot print for cattle traders or finishers. Excluding cattle from water ways so dams are not emitter’s. Type of pasture consumed eg soft southern pasture or North Queensland pasture? I could go on but the grey areas are alive and well in footprint calculations.
    Marcus Oldham 64

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