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What are the best ways to increase carbon sequestration on farm ?
- Having farmed on Bimbadeen for 70 years, building up carbon without knowing it for 45 years. Our trials over the last 25 years by carbon farming has increased our carbon capture. Bimbadeen has been building carbon with cattle by time control grazing with a minimum 45 days rest where possible. We have a paddock M6 that has 235 tonne (TOC) Total Organic Carbon per hectare. This equates to 862.45 tonne of CO2. M4 has not being carbon cropped. Paddocks can be rotationally or strip grazed. Leave as much dry matter residue as possible for carbon.
- Sowing multi species crops with differing root levels. Refer Bimbadeen “Latest News” on site for a full description of our present M16 Trial.
- Planting of trees and vegetation to a lesser amount than soil carbon sequestration. Planting of 45,000 trees and vegetation, now 20% of Bimbadeen with widening of tree lines and recent plantings is covered. There are 59 paddocks by average 2 to 3 hectares in area.
What are the main areas/ practises in a farming business that use carbon.?
- A farms main GHG emissions are cattle numbers for methane which is small compared to the benefit of cattle grazing. Total emissions on a well managed property would be about 3% of carbon sequestered through trees and soil.
- Electricity, gas, fuel, fertiliser, waste, to a much lesser extent especially as we have solar power. All water on Bimbadeen is on site and all is moved by reticulation, wind and solar.
What practises/ can I do to limit/reduce my carbon ?
Good genetics and management of livestock. Superior genetics by ET and AI will give you superior growth rate and faster turnoff of cattle or sheep, and less methane emissions. Solar and wind to power your farm and bore pumps. Use the lightest tractor/vehicle to do a job. Use EV quad bike if possible.
What risk management practises can I put into place re a carbon farming enterprise ?
All of the above answers to Q3 will reduce risk. Irrigation if possible will reduce risk. We have access to Recycled water for multi species carbon crop irrigation from Westernport Water that would normally be pumped to ocean outfall.
What expenses and income do I have to include in a cashflow budget ?
Your biggest outlay to carbon farm is Carbon coring testing to 1 metre in depth. This with new techniques will change in the future. At the present time you have to carbon core test, which I would say will place most farms in Victoria and NSW carbon neutral. You are allowed to use your carbon below baseline to Offset your farms GHG emissions as it is not being traded. Once CN you are able to trade and that is when your income arrives. Trading price is set at the moment at $25 per tonne under 100 tonne and $20 per tonne over 100 tonne. We are guaranteeing for a 2 year period but some business are negotiating for 5 years as they know the price will only increase.
Are carbon emissions taken into account when carbon farming ?
Yes all emissions have to be deducted from your Total TOC/SOC on farm. We are able to organise an auditor for you which, if you have the required information ready Online, will be very reasonably priced.
How do you audit your farm GHG emissions ?
You supply a detailed account of your power with Smart metre readings, fuel usage, number of stock which must be the maximum number on any one day per annum. The only exemption to this is dairy farmers who sell their calves at an early stage. Beef farmers must be the maximum at any age. All figures must be signed off prior to an audit. We can recommend an auditor who will advise you if more information is required. It is pretty simple if you provide the details and can all be done online.
If you only wish to reduce your GHG footprint and not trade you do not require an audit.
How can we trade carbon ?
You can trade through an agent and produce ACCU’s which are sold on the auctions by the Governments ERF program. I do not do this. We trade under the Voluntary Contract scheme under the Bimbadeen program.
All our CN Certificates and records are held by TRPI, WPCLN, and PI Landcare, independent parties.
Is it important to be a Regenerative farmer ?
Yes it is but you must be a Sustainable farmer first. You must be able to fix any mineral deficiency. On our carbon pilot paddock M16 we have 200 trial strips to detect a deficiency. It depends on your actions as to the amount of carbon you can sequester. This trial will at least double our growth in M16.
Which mix is the best for growth and carbon sequestration ?
A multi species which has been trialled on Bimbadeen for over 10 years by Mark Roberts of Basix at Warragul.
Refer to the Bimbadeen Carbon News onsite for full details to your questions.
Army worm spray.
Re request Bass Coast Landcare Network, Joel by email, for Michael.
Per hectare Three litres whole cream milk, 1 teaspoon bicarbonate soda, 1 satchel of Dipel bacteria. Hardware/Bunnings. Remove half cup of milk from container and add bicarbonate of soda and satchel of dipel. Shake contents. Loosen lid. Let it sit overnight at room temperature. Add to water in spray tank & spray late afternoon or evening.