Adapting Grazing Systems To A Changing Climate


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Bob Wilson, a farmer from WA and board member with the Evergreen Farming Group, reveals the massive shift in farming technique the farmers of the west have made. No one can fail to be uplifted by the story Bob has to tell.

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  • Adapting Grazing Systems To A Changing Climate

    1. 1. ADAPTING GRAZING SYSTEMS TO A CHANGING CLIMATE And Saving the Planet as well!
    2. 3. Lancelin
    3. 5. “ The definition of Insanity is doing something over and over and expecting a Different Result” To Change….. JUST ADD TAGASASTE!
    4. 7. Benefits of Tagasaste as a Multi-Purpose Agroforestry Species (at that time) <ul><li>Evergreen, Deep rooted, Perennial, Leguminous, Edible Shrub. </li></ul><ul><li>Thrives in DGS </li></ul><ul><li>Improves ecological stability by addressing water recharge and salinity (in certain areas). </li></ul><ul><li>Reduces Nutrient Leaching </li></ul><ul><li>Reduces Wind Erosion </li></ul><ul><li>Provides an extra Level of feed </li></ul>
    5. 11. Tagasaste provides good quality feed over the growing period (May to Nov) <ul><li>However, animals not gaining weight over the summer/autumn period </li></ul><ul><li>Trial to measure potential of supplementary feeding </li></ul><ul><li>(Photo of 2 young research scientists) </li></ul>
    6. 13. Response to supplements
    7. 14. Some final tips on the Management of Tagasaste <ul><li>Graze HARD or Trim the Tagasaste to stop it from flowering in spring </li></ul><ul><li>Next photo was taken in mid Oct 2005, and shows no sign of flowering on the Tag bushes </li></ul>
    8. 16. Benefits of Tagasaste on our Farm <ul><li>Lifts carrying capacity and profitability </li></ul><ul><li>Controls wind erosion </li></ul><ul><li>Reduces potential negatives from unseasonal rain </li></ul><ul><li>Reduces chill factor during winter </li></ul><ul><li>Drought Proof the Farm?? </li></ul><ul><li>Increase Soil Organic carbon levels </li></ul>
    9. 17. Enough of Tagasaste!! (for the moment) <ul><li>In Sept 2003 we planted our first paddock of Sub-tropical Perennial Grasses </li></ul><ul><li>Our aim was to further increase our Growing Season feed supply, and take advantage of any out of season rainfall events </li></ul>
    10. 20. Climate Change?? <ul><li>In Jan 2006 we ended up with </li></ul><ul><li>3 inches of rain </li></ul><ul><li>Our Perennial paddock that had been seeded in September 2005 responded to this Out of Season rain………….Spectacularly! </li></ul>
    11. 24. Enough of Grazing!! (for the moment) <ul><li>Soil Carbon: </li></ul><ul><li>In April 2007 we dug some test pits in 3 paddocks that had differing pasture types - </li></ul><ul><li>Annuals </li></ul><ul><li>Sub-tropical perennials </li></ul><ul><li>Tagasaste </li></ul><ul><li>From these pits we took soil samples </li></ul>
    12. 28. Total Extra CO2 eq Sequestered (In top 110 cm’s of soil) Plus – Tag biomass +37 (= 114) +67 +23 Extra CO2 eq (t/ha) 37 331 287 264 CO2 eq (t/ha) (x3.67) 10 90 78 72 Organic Carbon (t/ha) Tagasaste (biomass) Tagasaste (soil carbon) (18 years) Sub-trop Perennials (3.5 years) Annual Pasture
    13. 29. Annual Totals Both the Perennials (4 yrs) and the Tagasaste (18 yrs) annualize to approx 6 tonne CO 2 eq sequestered per hectare per year. At a Carbon price of $20 / tonne (CO 2 eq ) = approx $120 / ha per year
    14. 30. GUILT FREE BEEF? <ul><li>NZ On-line Calculator </li></ul><ul><li>1.2 Tonnes/ha CO2eq Emissions </li></ul><ul><li>-6 Tonnes/ha sequestered </li></ul><ul><li>-4.8 Tonnes/ha Net CO2e </li></ul>
    15. 32. A Recent speech by Senator Penny Wong to the London School of Economics <ul><li>A recent article from Energy Policy journal predicts that a global carbon market could grow to reach a value of 10 trillion US dollars – comparable to the size of the oil industry. </li></ul><ul><li>The International Energy Agency has estimated that halving global emissions by mid-century will require investment worth 45 trillion US dollars . </li></ul><ul><li>In addition, the Garnaut Climate Change Review suggests that the incentive to mitigate will – over the long term – contribute to expanded agricultural production and stimulate new technologies and better land management practices . </li></ul><ul><li>These incentives to mitigate in the agriculture sector – one of our largest exporters – could build on Australia’s role as a leader in the development of environmentally sustainable agricultural practices </li></ul>
    16. 33. The Garnaut Climate Change Review <ul><li>“ Australia is well positioned to further increase carbon dioxide removal by soil, due to the sheer size of it’s land mass and the ability of its farming sector to adopt new management practices.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ A range of biophysical, economic and social constraints must be overcome in order for this potential to be realised on a large scale, although it is already technically feasible.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ The barriers to recognising carbon dioxide removal by soil could be overcome within decades, presenting soil carbon as a new commodity for landowners.” </li></ul>
    17. 34. Soil Carbon: $12billion/year cash crop? <ul><li>The Garnaut Report estimates that Australian agricultural soils can sequester 600 million tonnes of carbon dioxide each year, which could be worth up to $12 billion to Australian farmers . The total value of Australia's agricultural output is less than $40 billion </li></ul><ul><li>This would make soil carbon the most valuable commodity Australian agriculture produces. </li></ul>
    18. 35. And of course recently … Prof Tim Flannery <ul><li>Rural Press report that quoted Prof Tim Flannery as supporting the need to include soil carbon in the global carbon trading scheme. &quot;What plants do is pull carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and sequester that carbon dioxide in measurable amounts in the biosphere.” </li></ul>
    19. 37. Green Paper – Perverse Outcome <ul><li>Trees as the ONLY carbon ‘sink’ </li></ul><ul><li>In WA – Oil Mallees </li></ul><ul><li>Locked up for 70 years </li></ul><ul><li>Similar sequestration to Perennials </li></ul>
    20. 38. And so, that brings us back to TAGASASTE (and perennials) for the final photo... <ul><li>A Productive Paddock in the Esperance region: </li></ul><ul><li>Well Planned, </li></ul><ul><li>Well Fertilized, </li></ul><ul><li>Well Managed, and </li></ul><ul><li>PROFITABLE! </li></ul>
    21. 41. TAGASASTE IN THE N.A.R.