OVER the next two years, Growcom will deliver an extension and outreach project on carbon mitigation in the horticulture industry.
The project aims to support the industry to achieve substantial reductions in emissions.
While total emissions from horticulture are relatively low (about one per cent of agricultural emissions), the intensity of horticultural farming practices results in high emission levels relative to land area.
Horticulture differs markedly from broadacre cropping and grazing industries.
Many of the mainstream mitigation practices and approved Carbon Farming Initiative (CFI) methodologies are not applicable to horticulture operations.
Horticulture production is generally characterised by intensive farming on relatively small land areas.
There are currently no comprehensive, readily accessible information sources on carbon emissions mitigation management.
There are very few incentives for horticultural growers to take part in the CFI as a means of either earning income or reducing costs.
This project will address that gap.
We consider many carbon farming practices have the potential to lower operational costs and increase productivity.
The project will focus on management practices that can not only mitigate greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and sequester carbon in the soil, but also provide cost savings, increased production and possibly an additional income stream for the growers.
We expect significant cost savings for horticulture businesses to include reduced fertiliser use, improved operational efficiency, fuel savings and improved soil health.
Growcom has delivered many successful research and extension projects on climate impacts, mitigation and adaptation strategies for the horticulture industry in the past.
This project will be funded by the Federal Government under the first assessment phase of the Carbon Farming Futures Extension and Outreach Program.
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