Carbon benefits

Carbon benefits

Trees absorb carbon from the atmosphere and store it as wood.

Climate change is one of the greatest challenges of our time and many farmers are already seeing the impacts of global climate change on local scales.

Every farm generates emissions through its operations. Understanding sources and volumes of emissions means farmers can better plan for the future. To protect the environment and meet rapidly evolving market and government requirements, it is important for landholders to consider mitigation strategies to reduce their overall emissions.

Tree planting and farm forestry are important solutions for landholders looking to achieve carbon neutrality.

Carbon emissions on farms

All farms have sources of greenhouse gas emissions. The main processes and activities that contribute to emissions on Tasmanian farms include:

  • Ruminant digestion of stock producing methane
  • Use of nitrogen fertilisers producing nitrogenous gases
  • Land use change releasing carbon and removing sequestering trees
  • Soil cultivation releasing carbon and nitrogen
  • Fossil fuel use in farms with high energy usage (from irrigation pumps or dairy infrastructure)

The amount of greenhouse gas emitted by a farm enterprise depends on the nature of the business and its management processes. Tree planting programs are an important tool to consider as a suite of mitigation strategies.

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Did you know?

In Australia, agriculture contributes about 13% of total greenhouse gas emissions – the third biggest sector.

How trees reduce emissions

Planting trees is an effective way to improve the carbon balance on farms and offer sustainable materials and fuel sources.

As soon as a tree starts to grow, it actively absorbs carbon from the atmosphere and stores it in its trunk, branches, bark, roots and leaves.

The amount of carbon sequestered depends on species, age and size of the tree, and site conditions. Younger trees sequester carbon more rapidly, before slowing later in the tree’s lifecycle.

Trees offer a sustainable alternative to materials such as metal, concrete and plastic, which emit more carbon dioxide during their lifecycle. After trees are harvested and processed into wood products, a large percentage of the carbon continues to be stored until the wood product decays or is burnt.
Biofuel from trees also provides an alternative to burning fossil fuels for energy – a leading source of greenhouse gas pollution.

Learn more about tree planting and management for carbon reduction, including case studies from Tasmanian farms:

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Net zero
By 2030, it is highly likely that Tasmanian farming businesses will be required to be carbon neutral.

Generating income from carbon

Landholders can use carbon sequestration to diversify income streams in two primary ways: by selling carbon credits, or by insetting their greenhouse gas emissions to achieve a balance and access the net zero market.
Produce from net zero farms is becoming increasingly sought-after, and is likely to become a market standard in the near future.

Economic benefits and markets

Calculating and reducing emissions

Improving emissions on a farm is not just good for the environment. It creates market opportunities, generates passive income, improves soil health and fosters more sustainable farm operations.

As a first step, landholders are advised to identify the main sources of emissions on their farms and calculate the volume of emissions.

From there, you can create an emissions-reduction strategy based on your results. This could include planting trees alongside other mitigation activities.

The Farm Forestry Carbon Tool enables landholders to quickly gain a picture of their carbon impact and the potential for tree offset opportunities. In less than two minutes, you can estimate current emissions and determine how many trees are required to make your operations carbon neutral

Farm Forestry Carbon Tool

Case study: [Title of case study]

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Get advice and support for a successful plantation.

Browse topics

Plantation planning  Species, sites and planting  Managing trees  Harvesting and selling  On-farm benefits  Carbon benefits  Economic benefits and markets  Native regrowth forests and biodiversity  Traditional land management  The law

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