From agriculture to climate change solution with carbon farming

carbon farming

The WA government will deliver $3.3 million through the Carbon Farming and Land Restoration Program to 10 innovative carbon farming projects, to unlock the potential for agriculture to mitigate climate change through carbon sequestration in the state. 

The program supports WA’s agriculture sector to respond to global market forces and adapt farming systems to incorporate carbon sequestration, while creating opportunities to participate in the carbon market and improve long term business viability. 

“Our farmers have a huge opportunity to play an important role in the global fight against climate change, while at the same time boosting their business profitability,” WA Agriculture and Food minister Alannah MacTiernan said. 

“Through our program, we are supporting farmers to explore how carbon farming can future-proof their businesses: improving productivity and profitability, diversifying enterprises, spreading risk and providing a new income stream. We will see real landscape and business transformations from this first round of funding, helping to pave the way for other farmers to trial these opportunities.” 

Two soil carbon and revegetation projects in the North Midlands are among the first to be supported by the Carbon Farming and Land Restoration Program. 

Weelhamby Farm, near Perenjori, will implement an integrated biodiversity revegetation project and a pasture rejuvenation project with a $738,600 funding boost. 

The projects will improve soil carbon and agricultural productivity, while enhancing wildlife corridors, in exchange for Australian Carbon Credit Units (ACCU). 

The property will become a public demonstration farm, hosting field days and sharing updates and economic results to examine how best to integrate carbon farming with conventional farming practices. 

A further four carbon projects in the South-West, Great Southern and Eastern Wheatbelt will share in the Round One funds, covering over 7,000 hectares and removing a projected 140,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere over the next decade. 

These projects will deliver various co-benefits, including improved biodiversity and soil health, increased agricultural productivity, salinity mitigation and Aboriginal cultural, employment and business opportunities.  

To support soil carbon opportunities, prospective Round One soil carbon projects that have not yet been approved under the program will be offered $10,000 vouchers to develop detailed land management strategies to help demonstrate project feasibility. 

“This program is just one of several initiatives supporting the adoption of land restoration practices in WA, alongside the Southern Rangelands Revitalisation Pilot Project, the new WA Soil Health Strategy and the Soil Systems Master Classes,” MacTiernan said. 

The program’s Future Carbon initiative will support four pilot research projects to examine carbon sequestration methods. It will enhance the understanding of activities that capture carbon to encourage the wide-scale adoption of carbon farming practices. 

The Cooperative Research Centre for High Performance Soils will measure crop sequences and new technologies to improve carbon accumulation; the Wheatbelt Natural Resource Management group will assess the potential of saltbush to sequester carbon; and the Wilson Inlet Catchment Committee will determine the viability of converting green and solid waste into biochar. 

The University of WA’s project will investigate the potential to combine perennial and annual pasture species, along with biological amendments and cell grazing, to increase soil carbon in the low to medium rainfall zone of the Wheatbelt. 

Regional workshops for farmers and rural businesses to better understand carbon farming opportunities and prepare submissions for Round Two of the program will be held in coming months. 

A full list of Round One ACCU Plus projects and more information about the Carbon Farming and Land Restoration Program is available here. 

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