14 March 2023
Farmers want on-ground help to reduce emissions and maintain profitability
Farmers for Climate Action has called for Federal Government funding for more on ground staff and programs teaching farmers about carbon and climate, as it releases its major new survey of farmers.
The Farming Forever report by Farmers for Climate Action is based on a survey of more than 600 farmers, as well as round table discussions with leading farmer and agricultural stakeholders, and is calling for a coherent national approach to climate change and agriculture policy.
Farmers for Climate Action has more than 7500 farmers in its Australia-wide network. CEO Dr Fiona Davis said the survey found farmers overwhelmingly want to reduce emissions but don’t know where to turn and are looking for support and practical help to do so.
“The survey found 93% of farmers are willing to shift to low-emissions production, but just 30% have had a practical demonstration on how to do so,” Dr Davis said.
“We know carbon farming in a high-integrity market can produce huge benefits for farmers, but just 10% of farmers are growing and selling carbon and 70% say they don’t understand the carbon market. Some 38% of farmers said they do not sell carbon because they do not know how.
“Farmers want more information and education on how to reduce emissions and create new income from carbon. They want more on-ground staff known as ‘extension officers’ who typically run demonstrations, field days and farm visits.
“Extension officers could be housed at trusted bodies, such as NRM Regions, to help farmers adapt to a changing climate and also benefit from the opportunities it brings. They could be funded by the Federal Government and help farmers find straightforward information on carbon markets, renewable energy and storage, and help them access incentives for things like on-farm batteries.
“We see a role for government to provide support for farmers by investing in emissions reduction technologies and initiatives, such as an instant tax asset write-off for renewable energy or on-farm energy storage.
“This could form part of a broader plan for Climate and Agriculture, which the report recommends.”
A copy of the report is available for download HERE
VISION AVAILABLE: Click HERE to download TV News vision and grabs from:
* Tasmanian farmer Iain Field and his goat dairy
* Victorian bull genetics producer Olivia Lawson at her property near Ballarat
For interviews please contact Cam Klose, Farmers for Climate Action 0490 436 948 / media@farmersforclimateaction.