About carbon and emissions

Interested to find out more about soil carbon and greenhouse gas emissions from Australian agriculture? See Why the fuss about greenhouse emissions and Australian agriculture (and why the issue won't go away soon) for more information.

Farming systems produce greenhouse gas emissions, mostly in the form of methane (mostly caused by animal digestion and respiration) and nitrous oxide (mostly from fertilisers). Trees, plants, grasses and soils take up carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and use it to grow.

In Australia the measurement of greenhouse gas emissions and carbon sequestration on farm is a relatively new area. There are many areas where reductions of emissions can result in on-farm productivity gains, particularly through minimisation of lost energy. Understanding how the management of carbon and emissions influences productivity is important for the future of farming.

There are also additional benefits to managing carbon and emissions including reducing on farm costs and increasing market opportunities. As consumers become more aware of food and fibre production systems, new markets may evolve. Environmental labelling of food and fibre products has already been incorporated into overseas markets and products. For example, some UK supermarkets have labelling information on how much carbon has been emitted in the production of a product.

Understanding carbon and emissions can help Victorian agriculture to:

  • add value to our global reputation for producing clean and green food and fibre
  • capitalise on new markets for primary produce as well as eco-services such as carbon
  • increase productivity through greater efficiencies and new technologies.

The carbon toolkits in agriculture – greenhouse gas calculators

Information on these pages outlines on-farm greenhouse gas accounting tools and resources.

Making cent$ of carbon and emissions on-farm

Find out more about carbon and emissions on-farm in our Making Cents of Carbon and Emissions on-farm booklet. Order your copies online today.

Page last updated: 22 Jun 2021