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Managing carbon in livestock systems: modelling options for net carbon balance (Victorian DPI)
A desktop study that involved assessing the baseline greenhouse gas emissions of a case study farm located in south-west Victoria and testing the feasibility of the use of nitrification inhibitors and feeding oil supplements to dairy cows to reduce emissions was conducted.
Emissions attributable to farm businesses are methane and nitrous oxide. On the farm analysed, the combined methane and nitrous oxide emissions were 1494 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalents (t CO2-e). Methane emissions were 76% of this. The nitrification inhibitor strategy tested reduced nitrous oxide emissions by 63 t CO2-e and when cows were fed an oil supplement in place of some of the grain supplement they were already consuming, methane emissions were reduced by up to 22 t CO2-e.
As the expected carbon price is $25/t CO2-e or less, the economic opportunity to dairy and other livestock farmers under the Carbon Farming Initiative is currently limited. The best way forward for industry is to continue to focus on productivity. As farms increase their efficiency of production, they will reduce their emissions intensity which is a good outcome for Australian agriculture.
This page was last updated on 25/07/2017
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