On-farm greenhouse gas accounting tools
Below is a list of tools currently available to assist farm businesses in estimating on-farm greenhouse gas emissions and carbon sequestration. We will update this list each month, so you always have the latest list of tools available. If you know of other tools that should be included, please let us know.
For important notes on calculation methods see 'Note on calculation methods' at the bottom of this page.
Cropping, Beef, Sheep, Intensive Livestock, Horticulture
Excel-based tools, useful for calculating emissions from individual enterprise activities. Inputs and outputs are presented on one page, with a graphical representation of emissions from each key source.
Online tool that enables users to estimate greenhouse gas emissions at both farm enterprise and whole farm scale. Registered users can also calculate the effect different management options have on greenhouse gas emission levels and the potential to generate carbon credits. It was modified from the National Greenhouse Gas Inventory (NGGI) 2006 accounting method to make emissions calculations more applicable at the farm scale.
Features include: customisable emission calculations; multiple enterprises to choose from, including beef, sheep, broadacre cropping, intensive livestock systems, perrenial horticulture and environmental plantings; multiple reporting options; downloadable Excel CSV files for further analysis; the ability to create multiple scenarios.
See further information under Cropping above.
Excel-based tool to assist in estimating emissions from horticulture growing operations. Additional information is also provided on greenhouse gas emissions from horticulture, how they might be reduced and uncertainties associated with estimating and reducing emissions.
'E' Orchard carbon tool
Online tool to assist Orchard producers in estimating the amount of greenhouse gas emissions produced by different aspects of their production system. It principally considers direct on-orchard greenhouse gas emissions and the indirect emissions associated with the generation of electricity used on the orchard.
Online tool that helps growers to identify their on-farm greenhouse gas emissions, for specific crops or crop categories and the whole farm. It is designed to estimate the direct on-farm greenhouse gas emissions, together with indirect emissions related to the generation of electricity that is used on-farm. The emissions associated with on-farm packaging and/or processing facilities are also included.
Excel-based tool, useful for estimating emissions from vineyards, wineries and/or packaging and distribution. It provides general guidance on the significant emissions associated with individual products, but is not sufficient for product-level lifecycle analysis (which is required to claim 'carbon neutrality').
Information on key emissions produced by horticultural activities and options for mitigation.
Excel-based tool, useful for calculating emissions from dairy farms. Inputs and outputs are presented on one page, with a graphical representation of emissions from each key source.
Excel-based tool, that enables dairy farmers and advisors to calculate the impact of adopting different abatement strategies on total farm greenhouse gas emissions and explore potential management strategies, including herd management, feeding management, soil management and farm intensification. It includes on-farm nitrous oxide and methane emissions, carbon dioxide emissions from electricity and fuel use, and certain pre-farm emissions from chemical, fertiliser and feed inputs
Benchmarking dairy farms: the Dairy Industry Farm Monitor Project
This Project provides a financial and comparative analysis of 73 dairy farms from across Northern Victoria, South Western Victoria and Gippsland and includes an estimate of greenhouse gas emissions for each farm.
This report, by the Food and Agricultural Organisation of the United Nations, looks at greenhouse gas emissions from all major milk production systems. It focuses on the entire dairy food chain, including emissions associated with the production, processing and transportation of milk products as well as emissions related to meat produced from animals originating from the dairy system.
According to this report, the dairy sector accounts for around four percent of all global anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions (GHG). The assessment is part of an ongoing programme to analyse and recommend options for climate change mitigation.
Tree and soil carbon
National Carbon Accounting Toolbox
The Toolbox includes the Full Carbon Accounting Model (FullCAM), which may be used to estimate and predict carbon flows associated with all biomass, litter and soil carbon pools in forest and agricultural systems. It allows users to track carbon dioxide emissions and removals using the same data and modeling that is used to create Australia's national greenhouse accounts. The Model is currently being further developed to incorporated nitrous oxide and methane emissions from agriculture.
Note on calculation methods
All of the below tools apply the same methodology used by the Department of Climate Change in the estimation of Australia's National Greenhouse Accounts for agricultural emissions. Most of these tools also include a basic estimate for tree carbon sequestration, but these do not follow the national
The National Carbon Accounting Toolbox (NCAT) is the only tool that applies the national accounting methods for tree carbon sequestration. FarmGAS utilises outputs generated from NCAT to estimate carbon sequestration from environmental plantings.
Methods are subject to change, as new research becomes available, so please ensure you regularly check for any updates to these tools.
'E' denotes tools that include carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from fuel and electricity. Under national accounting methods, emissions from agriculture only include on-farm methane and nitrous oxide emissions (e.g. from livestock, soil disturbance and fertilisers). However, with the price of electricity and other input costs (e.g. refrigerants and fertilisers) increasing, identifying opportunities for improving energy use efficiency on farm will help reduce the impact of these extra costs.