Clearing the Carbon Confusion Dr Richard Eckard

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Clearing the Carbon Confusion Dr Richard Eckard

  1. 1. Carbon Farming Richard Eckard Jamberoo NSW March 26th 2012
  2. 2. Agricultural Greenhouse Gas Emissions Australia 2009 Field Burning of AgriculturalNitrous oxide Prescribed Residues, 0.4 • Agriculture Burning of Savannas, 14.3 – 57% of all methane – 73% of all nitrous oxide • Enteric Methane Agricultural Soils, 16.7 Enteric Rice Fermentation, 64.6 – 11% of National emissions • Nitrous Oxide from soils Cultivation, 0.1 Manure Management, 3.9 – 2.5% of National emissions Methane Methane and nitrous oxide represent two of the biggest inefficiencies in agriculture DCC 2011
  3. 3. Typical Farm Emissions N2O - Dung, Urine & Spread 10% N2O - Dung,N2O - Indirect Urine 11% N2O - 12% Indirect 6% N2O - N Fertiliser N2O - N 4% Fertiliser CH4 - Effluent 0% ponds 1% CH4 - Enteric 74% CH4 - Enteric N2O - Effluent 82% ponds Dairy Beef 0% 3 - 7 t CO 2 e/cow 2 t CO2e/steer CH4 - Burning 4 – 45 t CO 2 e/ha 2 – 3 t CO 2 e/ha N2O - Burning 8 – 21 t CO 2 e/t MS 6 – 7 t CO2e/t beef N2O - Crop residues N2O - Indirect leaching N2O - Indirect Grains ammonia N2O - N Fertiliser 0.2 - 1 t CO2e/ha 0.04 t/CO2e/t grain N2O - N2 fixation Eckard, Grainger & de Klein 2010; Browne et al. 2011
  4. 4. The Carbon Farming Initiative• Landholders can receive carbon credits for: – Reducing methane and nitrous oxide emissions. – Increasing the carbon stored in soils and vegetation.• People and businesses can buy CFI credits to offset their emissions.• Participation is voluntary.
  5. 5. Types of CFI offsets Kyoto-Protocol offsets Mandatory carbon market • Eligible forestry • Higher priced ($23/t?) • Methane • 500 businesses facing tax • Nitrous oxideFarms Non Kyoto- Voluntary carbon market. Protocol offsets • Lower priced • Soil carbon • Altruistic Individuals. • Avoided • Carbon-neutral marketing deforestation • Government ($250M). • Biochar
  6. 6. CFI offset Methods• Registered • In development – Landfill gas – Dietary supplements – Methane from piggeries (oils) – Environmental plantings – Nitrogen rate – Savannah burning – Inhibitors and EEF• In DOIC review (17) – Landfill waste – Camel culling
  7. 7. Abatement Metrics• Net emissions abatement (CFI) – GHG/ha – GHG/farm or business unit• Emissions intensity abatement – GHG/unit production CO2 -Energy – GHG/MJ or food unit N2O - Indirect N2O - Dung, 8% 14% Urine & Spread 7% • May not lead to reduced emissions N2O - N• Other metrics Fertiliser 4% N2O - Effluent ponds – GHG/Nutrient Food Index 0% CH4 - Enteric 62% – GHG/$100 operating profit CH4 - Effluent ponds 5% Browne et al. 2012
  8. 8. Options for abatement • Dietary Supplements – Oils (3.5% less CH4 per 1% oil) – Tannin (eg. grape marc 20%) – Legumes• Net emissions: CFI • Emissions Intensity – Feed oils when pasture – Increasing SR with quality is low supplementation • Assuming similar price to grain • Don’t just displace grain Eckard et al. 2010; Moate et al. 2010
  9. 9. Options for abatement • Animal Management – Minimize unproductive animals/ improve efficiency • Earlier finishing of beef to feedlots • Smaller cows for cross breeding • Reproduction/weaning %, fertility, health • Extended lactation in dairy• Net emissions: CFI • Emissions Intensity – Less cows for same milk – Increase stocking rate – Smaller cows for same calves – Replace animals sooner – Shorter lifetimes – Smaller cows for same calves – Additionality? Eckard et al. 2010
  10. 10. Options for abatement • Feed quality – Balanced ME: CP ratio – Grain feeding/ supplementation – Pasture improvement and legumes • Lower rumen retention time, lower pH, increased propionate• Net emissions: CFI • Emissions Intensity – Same animal numbers – More pasture = more stock • Less methane per animal • Less methane per kg MS • Less urinary N loss – Additionality? Eckard, Grainger & de Klein 2010
  11. 11. Options for abatement • Nitrogen management – Fertiliser rate, source, timing, placement (BMPs) – Formulation (EEF & inhibitors) – Natural plant hormones – Legumes in crop rotations• Net emissions: CFI • Emissions Intensity – Reduce N inputs for same – More yield for same N inputs product – Hormones + N fertiliser – Hormones vs N fertiliser Eckard, Grainger & de Klein 2010
  12. 12. Options for abatement • Inhibitors ENTEC® • Nitrification and urease • Fertiliser coating • Spray on soil • Fed to animals (5% of spray volume)• Net emissions: CFI • Emissions Intensity – Net reduction in N2O – Additional pasture • And N inputs • Increased stocking rate – Pasture or crop yields limited – Improved N efficiency • CFI income alone insufficient Eckard, Grainger & de Klein 2010
  13. 13. Options for abatement • Effluent management – Cover effluent ponds to generate methane – Not viewed as waste, but valuable nutrients • Spread in place of fertilisers • At calculated rates • When soils not saturated• Net emissions: CFI • Emissions Intensity – Methane generation – Use as nutrient source to – Displace N fertiliser. upgrade low fertility areas Eckard, Grainger & de Klein 2010
  14. 14. How CFI may work• Individual farmers? – Voluntary + Transaction costs high – Gross income from an offset method • $2 - $12 per method/ha/y • <1% of farm gross income• Aggregators – Pre-farm (Fertiliser Companies) – Post Farm (Processors) – Consultants
  15. 15. In Summary• Options are available – To reduce total emissions under CFI • Not many cost effective • Methods are being developed• Emissions Intensity – Should remain the main focus of industry• New area of research – In time more options will become available – Some will be cost effective
  16. 16. www.piccc.org.auwww.greenhouse.unimelb.edu.auGreenhouse Accounting ToolsArticlesBMPs

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