Article by: Hari Yellina (Orchard Tech)
The Federal Government has finally established a new method that they believe will reduce the measuring costs of soil carbon by over ninety per cent. Hence, removing one of the biggest barriers prevents farmers from participating in carbon projects. Agricultural experts have urged farmers to do their research and consider the potential risks before diving headfirst into the emerging carbon market. Emissions Reduction Minister Angus Taylor said the new Emissions Reduction Fund (ERF) method would significantly reduce the cost of measuring soil carbon, making it easier for farmers to generate income from increasing soil carbon.
Australian Farm Institute executive director Richard Heath said many farmers were interested in the carbon market but were holding off for a number of reasons. Even those participating in carbon projects and acquiring credits, because there’s a lot of uncertainty about the price of carbon at the moment. The cost of measuring soil carbon isn’t the only hurdle farmers face and there are plenty of other questions landholders need to consider before jumping into the carbon market.
Lots of soil carbon methodologies have a long-term commitment, so one could be locking yourself in for 25 years or more. If something comes along in five years time that might be better, you are already in a long-term agreement.” Natural disasters, such as bushfires and droughts, can wipe out soil carbon gains, so landholders must be mindful of “clawback provisions”. Additionally, Agriculture Minister David Littleproud also announced $2 million for Soil Science Australia to push out the latest soil research to farmers and landholders.