Thursday, October 11, 2012

Carbon Farming Initiative: Will Family Farmers Miss Out?

Big corporate farming enterprises are lining up to collect on the Government’s $2bn Carbon Farming Initiative, while the family farmer is still in the dark about the opportunity. “R.M. Williams Agricultural Holdings have scooped up $9 million to buy half a million hectares in the NT for carbon credits, which it has already sold to Qantas, and more deals are likely being done behind closed doors,” says Michael Kiely from Carbon Farmers of Australia. “How does the trade work? How can family farmers get their hands on some of this money? Family farmers have been offered some 'training', but you'd struggle to find someone who understands it."”
These questions will be answered at the 6thannual Carbon Farming Conference on 23-24 October 2012 in Dubbo. “There are many ‘hidden’ pots of money that only those on the inside can get to know about – how many farmers heard about the first round of funding from the $1bn Biodiversity Fund? How many have been told about the opportunities for graziers or grain growers or pork producers to earn carbon credits, starting today?”

To make it easier for family farmers, the focus is on practical demonstrations at the Carbon Farming Conference. Attendees will see:

• A local farmer going through the stages of launching a CFI project.
• A local business which is “going carbon neutral” buying Australian farm carbon credits real time from the podium
• The way to use Government online calculators to discover how much a farmer can make from environmental plantings
• A presentation from a local farmer on what he is doing with funds from the Biodiversity Fund 
• A presentation from a QLD farmer who got better production from paddocks which have 40% crown cover from trees than from paddocks completely bare of trees.
• How to make biochar from a portable pyrolysis furnace – a live demonstration.
• Software to make the carbon credits administration simpler to manage.

Other highlights include:
·      RCS’s Rick McCosker reports on the soil carbon measurement system he is putting the final touches to with CSIRO’s Dr. Raphael Viscarra Rossel
·      CSIRO’s Dr Jeff Baldock reports the results of the $25m Soil Carbon Research Program after 3 years  - will he deliver the ‘baseline’ we have been waiting for?
·      Soil carbon, where it likes to grow, what its most favourable habitats are, and how to maximise and retain soil carbon will be revealed by Dr Peter McGee from Sydney University.
·      The Lucky Door prize is a B-Double full of compost.

PLUS:        Carbon Farming Gala Awards Dinner
                  Carbon Cocky of the Year
                  Carbon Farming 101: half day workshop
                  Advanced Carbon Farming: half day workhop

Call (02) 6374 0329 or email

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