On-Farm Emissions Action Plan Pilot

The On-Farm Emissions Action Plan Pilot is part of the Victorian Government’s commitment under the Agriculture Sector Emissions Reduction Pledge to provide practical information, tools and services to support farmers to understand and reduce emissions.

The Pilot will work with up to 250 farm businesses across the state to estimate their on-farm emissions profile and identify potential actions to manage and reduce emissions while maintaining productivity and profitability. Participants will then be eligible for grant funding to co-fund recommended actions from a total pool of up to $5 million.

The three-year Pilot is being delivered over nine rounds covering Victoria’s key agricultural industries.

Agriculture Victoria will work with a select number of producers interested in understanding and reducing their emissions and willing to help other farmers by sharing their learnings from the Pilot. On-farm emissions assessments and action plans will be delivered in collaboration with industry partners.

To support industry partners, Agriculture Victoria has started a ‘Community of Practice’ for farm advisors to build capability across the sector and improve the emissions reduction advice being provided to Victorian farmers.

Agriculture Victoria will share information, insights and lessons from the Pilot including case studies that will be published as they become available.

For more information email: actionplanpilot@agriculture.vic.gov.au.

Julian Carroll:

We're in Mudgegonga, which is in Northeast Victoria. We're on a commercial self-replacing beef enterprise. We mainly produce feeder steers.

Brad Costin:

So Agriculture Victoria has set up the On-Farm Emissions Action Plan Pilot to help producers understand their emissions on their farm, and then also helping them act upon that number as well.

Julian Carroll:

We are motivated to get involved in the On-Farm Emissions Action Plan Pilot because we are really interested in this conversation around on-farm carbon. We think it's important to understand our own carbon footprint or our emissions intensity as part of our risk mitigation strategy, and also because we think there's going to be a marketing component to it in the coming years.

Brad Costin:

Julian and other farmers are helping provide us with feedback and how we can better improve the process for farmers to understand their emissions profile.

Julian Carroll:

I think the biggest surprise for us and probably for most people is just how much enteric emissions, the methane that comes from our cattle digesting grass contributes to our footprint.

Brad Costin:

The Pilot is that we want farmers to know their number and learn about their number, what goes into it, and helping them act what practical things on farm they can do to help lower their agricultural emissions.

Julian Carroll:

I think going into the analysis, I expected that there would be a number of sources that we could potentially work on to improve our carbon use efficiency to see that 80% of it was all about enteric emissions, and that's a number that's going to be consistent with most beef producers. It pretty clearly sharpens your focus onto your animal production. Productivity and reducing your carbon emissions are intrinsically linked, and so for us, thinking about how we can be the most productive we can with our cattle, we think strongly about our genetics, about our nutrition, and about our monitoring.

So thinking about genetics, it's important that we're choosing bulls that align with our breeding objective, and we're also using some relatively new technology for genomics analysis of our commercial breeders so we can get some insight into those females and into traits that are otherwise invisible. From the monitoring perspective, we've got an Optiweigh system in the paddock now, so we can really keep a close eye on our animal performance, especially our young animals as they're growing. So to address nutrition and specifically growth rates in young cattle, we've decided to upgrade our feeding systems in our stock containment areas.

Brad Costin:

Each farm is very different in the way that its emissions and it's also its ability to sequester carbon, so it's a very much an individual thing, so that's where sitting down and understanding livestock inventory and the area that you've got to trees and the age of those trees is really important.

Julian Carroll:

We already have quite a large area of trees on our farm and trees being our primary opportunity to sequester carbon. Our tree area is about 17% of our total acres, but our tree age is really young, so they're not going to hit their straps for another 10 years or so. We'll see our sequestered carbon lift from about 70 tons to 270 tons by 2030.

Brad Costin:

It might seem overwhelming or very complicated to understand your emissions, but there are some very easy to use tools and calculators out there that can help.

Julian Carroll:

Getting across your carbon footprint is a really valuable exercise. I think it's important that you need to know your number and how you compare to your peers. And I'd also recommend people consider combining it with business benchmarking, which you can do with the Victorian Livestock Farm Monitor Project.

Speaker 3:

Authorized by Victorian Government, 1 Treasury Place, Melbourne.

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Agriculture Victoria delivers regular public webinars for primary producers and others working in the agriculture sector - topics include carbon and emissions, seasonal risk, climate change projections and impacts, and adaptation opportunities.

Visit Climate Webinars to learn more or subscribe to be notified when new webinars are available.

Frequently asked questions

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The Pilot is a three-year initiative to support up to 250 Victorian farmers and growers to estimate and understand their on-farm emissions profile, develop an emissions reduction action plan, and apply for a grant to implement recommended actions from a pool of up to $5 million. The Pilot is a key initiative under Victoria’s first Agriculture Sector Emissions Reduction Pledge.

A key objective of the Pilot is to develop a variety of farm emissions case studies to maximise insights across industries, commodities, farm sizes and geographic regions.

The Pilot focuses on action at the farm business level and building farmers’ emissions understanding and capability. The Pilot will focus on the options available for farm businesses to implement actions and is also an opportunity to explore and share the impacts of a variety of actions in diverse farming environments.

Participants are provided with a report that estimates their farm emissions profile and an On-Farm Emissions Action Plan with suggested options on how to measure, manage and reduce their farm emissions profile.

Participants can then apply for a grant to implement recommended actions. For further information, please refer to the grants section.

Expressions of interest for the final round are now closed, with applications currently being assessed.

You can register your interest to receive regular updates and newsletters about the Pilot, including key dates and updates on the wider Agriculture Sector Pledge Program.

If selected to participate in the Pilot, participants must agree to:

  • consider implementing a recommended action to reduce on-farm emissions
  • share relevant data and knowledge with Agriculture Victoria during the Pilot
  • cooperate in the promotion of the Pilot, which may involve using your name in publications
  • provide information and data to be used as Pilot case studies and education material
  • host or contribute to Pilot demonstration events
  • provide data and information for planned evaluation activities, during and at the completion of the Pilot.

The Pilot is split into a series of rounds focused on a different commodity or combined commodity grouping. The rounds will be delivered between July 2022 and April 2025. Dates have been selected to maximise the ability of each commodity group to participate based on feasibility, readiness, and seasonality.

The expected timetable will be updated each round as timelines are determined.


Timelines for Expressions of Interest

Timelines for emissions assessments and action plan development



Winter/Spring 2022



Spring/Summer 2022–2023



Summer/Autumn 2023

Grains and broadacre cropping


Winter/Spring 2023



Spring/Summer 2023



Summer 2023–2024



Summer/Autumn 2024

All commodities




Yes, you are still eligible to participate in the Pilot.

No. Only one farm can be involved in the Pilot.

A farm emissions specialist will work with each participant to interpret emissions and carbon data and discuss potential actions specific to each farm. Farm businesses will need to ensure they have the time to work with the specialist and are able to provide the required farm data.

There are a range of emissions and carbon calculators that are used across agriculture industries which are at various levels of development. Agriculture Victoria has reviewed these tools and will use the most up-to-date and appropriate for each sector.

Learn more about calculators and accounting tools.

No. Agriculture Victoria will not collect data from farms beyond the period of the Pilot.

The Community of Practice is made up of farm advisors interested in working with Agriculture Victoria to improve emissions advice for Victorian farmers.

For more information email actionplanpilot@agriculture.vic.gov.au

Pilot participants will be eligible to apply for two types of grants:

  • Action Plan grants (on completion of personalised On Farm Emissions Action Plan) and
  • Innovation Fund grants (emissions assessment must be underway)

The Pilot program guidelines explain the eligibility criteria, considerations, and process for participants to apply for grant funding:

Pilot program guidelines (PDF - 1.1 MB)

Pilot program guidelines (WORD - 3.0 MB)

The Action Plan grants aim to support participants to implement emissions reduction projects from their personalised On-Farm Emissions Action Plan. Further information about how to apply for an Action Plan grant will be provided to each participant following completion of their On-Farm Emissions Action Plan. Participants can also review the Pilot program guidelines to read the funding criteria and other requirements such as the minimum $1:$1 (participant:government) cash co-contribution.

The table below explains the types of actions that may be considered for grant funding.



Capital works

Construction and structural improvements

Engaging services

Consultant for on-farm testing, advice, design or plan; participation in training

Demonstration project

On-farm demonstration/trial of a technology or farm practice


Shelterbelts and environmental plantings; farm forestry (on a case-by-case basis and only if ineligible for funding under other government programs)


Actions that reduce emissions (on a case-by-case basis and only if ineligible for funding under other government programs)

The primary purpose of the Innovation Fund is to trial and evaluate new and innovative ideas to significantly reduce on-farm emissions. This will then support case studies for learning and collaboration to be developed. A wide range of projects will be considered including:

  • the use of new technologies and practices, or
  • new applications of existing technologies.

Projects must demonstrate credible potential for significant reduction in on-farm emissions. Projects that utilise existing or standard farm practices and technology will need to articulate how the proposal demonstrates innovation in a Victorian setting to be considered.

Find out more at:

Pilot program guidelines (PDF - 1.1 MB)

Pilot program guidelines (WORD - 3.0 MB)

Page last updated: 15 Apr 2024