The Western Australian government pledged $3.2 million on Thursday as part of its Carbon Generation and Land Restoration Program, which aims to mitigate climate change through carbon sequestration.
The biggest recipient was Weelhamby Farm, where two soil carbon and revegetation projects near Perenjori in the northeastern wheat belt jointly received $738,600.
In exchange for Australian Carbon Credit Units (ACCU), the projects aim to improve soil carbon and agricultural productivity while improving wildlife corridors.
Four other carbon projects in the South West, Great Wheatbelt of Southern and Eastern WA will share round one funds, covering over 7,000 hectares and removing approximately 140,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere over the next decade.
These projects will provide a variety of co-benefits, including improved biodiversity and soil health, increased agricultural productivity, salinity mitigation, and cultural, employment and business opportunities for Indigenous people.
“Our farmers have a huge opportunity to play an important role in the global fight against climate change, while increasing the profitability of their business,” said the WA Minister of Agriculture and Food. Alannah MacTiernan noted.
“We will see real landscape and business transformations from this first round of funding, helping to pave the way for other farmers to test these opportunities.”
The program’s Future Carbon initiative will support four pilot research projects to examine carbon sequestration methods and improve understanding of activities that sequester carbon to encourage large-scale adoption of carbon-producing practices.
Ms MacTiernan said the scheme was one of many initiatives supporting the adoption of land restoration practices in WA, alongside the Southern Rangeland Revitalization Pilot, WA’s Soil Health Strategy and soil systems masterclass.
Regional workshops for farmers and rural businesses to better understand carbon farming opportunities and prepare submissions for the second round of the program will take place in the coming months.
To support soil carbon opportunities, potential first-round soil carbon projects that have not yet been approved under the program will be offered $10,000 vouchers to develop detailed soil management strategies. land to help demonstrate the feasibility of the project.
|Weelhamby Unit Trust||Adoption of new management practices, including three-year grazing to one-year crop rotation, with impulse grazing of pastures by sheep. These practices will increase soil microbial and fungal activity, minimize water runoff, and reduce topsoil loss to boost soil carbon.||Mid-West||$393,100|
|Weelhamby Unit Trust||Demonstrate that carbon farming can complement traditional agricultural activities. The project will engage with traditional owners to revegetate the 250ha property with biodiverse plantings to create extensive wildlife corridors and stock shelter areas alongside carbon sequestration.||Mid-West||$345,500|
|Mitsui E&P Australia Pty Ltd||Implement grazing and rotational cropping practices throughout the year to balance numbers against optimum ground cover, alongside the application of micronutrients and liquid calcium to optimize carbon of the ground.||wheat belt||$200,000|
|Native Carbon 2 Pty Ltd||Direct seeding and hand planting to connect remaining vegetation along the Gordon River. Restoring degraded agricultural land will sequester carbon, while combating salinity, addressing waterlogging and providing business opportunities for traditional owners.||Great South||$540,000|
|Cullen Wines (Australia) Pty Ltd||Introduce mid-autumn and late spring seedings of multi-species cover crops to maximize soil biological activity and encourage plant competition for later use in high-density and short-lived grazing methods. time to build soil organic carbon.||South West||$36,000|
|Nannup Truffle Farm||Plant 10,500 local native species and increase soil carbon by improving historical land management practices, addressing eutrophication (excess nutrients) of on-farm water sources, and conducting water quality analysis to quantify the positive benefits of revegetation activities on horticultural productivity.||South West||$50,000|
Future Carbon Round One projects
|Wheatbelt Natural Resource Management Incorporated||Assessing the potential of Saltbush to sequester carbon in the South West: Assess the viability of Saltbush to sequester carbon and provide data to advocate for the development of a new Emissions Reduction Fund methodology||wheat belt||$616,264|
|Wilson Inlet Catchment Committee Inc.||Net-zero green waste: determining the viability of converting green waste and compostable municipal solid waste from the County of Denmark into biochar for the benefit of agricultural production in the region.||Great South||$52,914|
|CRC for high performance floors||Using living plant systems and modern agricultural methods to sequester soil organic carbon, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve soil fertility: testing, measuring and demonstrating crop sequencing and new technologies that sequester organic carbon, mitigate greenhouse gas emissions and improve soil fertility in agricultural production systems that have traditionally struggled to accumulate organic carbon.||Several sites in the South West agricultural region||$600,000|
|The University of Western Australia||Grazing into the future for soil carbon sequestration and boosting soil health with pasture biodiversity management: Investigating and documenting the potential of combining perennial and annual pastures in the medium to low rainfall zone to increase soil carbon sequestration, with the co-benefits of improved soil health, increased biodiversity and resilience. Practices will be augmented using organic soil amendments and cell grazing.||wheat belt||$371,634|
Beneficiaries of the ACCU Plus Round One voucher
|Concordia Trust||Harmony Farms Carbon Sequestration Soil Program||wheat belt|
|BJ, GI & WE Savage & The G & W Savage Family Trust||Walyurin||wheat belt|
|KJ, LM Barrett and SJ Barrett||Wellwood Farms||Great South|
|D&M Mackie Pty Ltd||Undanooka Soil Carbon Project||wheat belt|
|Jaelant Pty Ltd||Jilakin Downs Carbon Farming Project||wheat belt|
|AC & CA Jenkins Family Trust||The Springs Soil Carbon Project||Great South|
|Vambelle Family Trust||Build soil with intensive grazing for livestock in Margaret River.||South West|
Change coming to Weelhamby
The investment group behind the Weelhamby Carbon Project is led by david martin, and was launched to demonstrate the role that agriculture must play in combating climate change through carbon sequestration in soils and vegetation, and in restoring and protecting biodiversity in our agricultural regions.
Weelhamby was purchased by the current owners early last year.
“This funding means the Weelhamby Carbon project is on full steam ahead,” Mr Martin said.
“I hope this will encourage more farmers to apply for funding for carbon projects under the next phase of the program.”
In the coming months, baseline sampling across Weelhamby’s 5500ha will take place to determine current soil carbon levels.
The 2022 farming season will see Weelhamby transition from intensive grain farming and fixed grazing to rotational grazing of multi-species perennial pastures with strategic multi-species farming alongside interventions to improve the health and biological function of the crops. floors.
A biodiverse mix of local species of trees and shrubs will be planted across the farm this winter.
This will divide the paddocks into smaller areas for rotational grazing and create wildlife corridors, windbreaks and shelters for livestock, as well as slowing the movement of water across the property to increase infiltration of the water.
Linking 1,500ha of Weelhamby’s remaining vegetation to three surrounding nature reserves, this design is expected to significantly improve biodiversity in the area, including protecting and enhancing habitat for endangered wildlife such as mallee fowl.
A not-for-profit organization, the Carbon Farming Foundation (CFF) is an investor and strategic partner of the Weelhamby Carbon Project.
“The Weelhamby Carbon Project shows that through strategic planning and careful changes in management, carbon farming can deliver real results without locking in productive farmland,” said CFF’s CEO. lachy-ritchie noted.
“By publicly releasing the results, we hope this project will serve as a case study for Australian landowners looking to begin their carbon farming journey.”
Agronomist Ken Bailey is a long-term delivery partner of the project and guides the strategy, design, evaluation and ongoing management of the project, aided by the local knowledge of the Weelhamby Farm Manager Phil Loge.
This includes implementing regenerative farming techniques such as multi-species perennial grazing, rotational grazing and multi-species cropping, as well as reducing chemical inputs and synthetic fertilizers to increase soil carbon in the landscape.
CTF is using the project to develop and demonstrate its do-it-yourself carbon production model by providing software, guides, training and support services.
“CFF’s software and support provided the Weelhamby team with an easy way to plot out an efficient farm layout and high yield planting design that was best suited to the existing farm operation,” Mr. Bailey said.
The project engaged Carbon West to help run the soil-carbon project, and agricultural companies Farmlab and Hone Carbon advised on how to reduce project costs and improve measurement, reporting and verification.
With the help of CFF and Carbon West, the project was registered with the Clean Energy Regulator under the FULLCAM methodologies of the Soil Carbon Emission Reduction Fund and Reforestation through Environmental Planting or Mallee.
Source: Government of Western Australia, Weelhamby Carbon Project