Harvest Road works towards CN30 target

Harvest Road works towards CN30 target

Agribusiness
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"Contrary to popular belief agriculture is not the largest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions..."

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 Harvest Road research lead Scott Strachan.

Harvest Road research lead Scott Strachan.

Scott Strachan, research lead, Harvest Road, spoke about the company being carbon neutral by 2030 at the recent Harvey Beef Gate 2 Plate field day in Albany.

Dr Strachan started by discussing some of the different ways that greenhouse gases can be emitted in agriculture including, fertiliser application, fuel use for machinery and methane from livestock.

He also debunked some common myths about carbon neutrality, stating that it does not have to come at the cost of productivity.

"Contrary to popular belief agriculture is not the largest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions, we sit about third," Dr Strachan said.

He also covered some of the reasons why it is important to be proactive on this issue.

"We are only nine years away from CN30 and the industry should be striving to be better, to maintain consumer's trust," he said.

"We want to ensure the sustainability of the industry."

Methods of reducing the emissions and the best strategy were also discussed.

Dr Strachan said producers should start with setting a target, understand what their emissions were and where they were coming from, then calculate their overall missions and how much carbon they were storing onfarm, with the idea being to balance it.

"Finding a balance between what's being emitted and what is being sequestered on-farm is the aim," he said.

How Harvest Road is planning on producing net-zero emissions by 2030 was the next section of the talk.

"Harvest Road and Harvey Beef are aiming to produce beef with the least impact on the environment and work towards CN30," Dr Strachan said.

Harvest Road is seven to eight months into an 18-month joint project with Meat & Livestock Australia and the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development, which includes calculating the emissions from their whole supply chain, as well as their third party suppliers, to understand the magnitude of the emissions being produced.

"We are also looking for opportunities throughout the supply chain to sequester our carbon emissions and we are doing some market research into carbon-neutral beef and what customers are asking for," Dr Strachan said.

He then suggested some methods of reducing emissions for producers such as increasing efficiency onfarm and using solar and renewable energy where possible.

An example of a way to sequester emissions would be to plant more vegetation.

Towards the end of the presentation, Dr Strachan outlined how carbon credits worked.

Along with some other projects, Harvest Road has invested in Future Feed which is the company that discovered that red algae/seaweed can reduce emissions in cattle.

"The red algae/seaweed is native to WA and when fed to cattle in small amounts can reduce emissions by 98 per cent with that energy being absorbed by the animal, increasing production," Dr Strachan said.

Other speakers included Lavinia Wehr (digital marketing and public relations with her talk Hashtag: Amazing things agriculture does for this country), David Rogers, DPIRD (national critical values from better fertiliser decisions for pastures, fact or fiction?), Terry Melrose, Men's Regional Health (succession planning) and Borden producer Paul O'Meehan (the importance of reviewing your work environment).

Bendigo Bank gave a small presentation on banking.

Gate 2 Plate co-ordinator Sheena Smith and the committee was grateful for the efforts of everyone involved in putting the event together.

"Thank you to all the major sponsors and speakers, it takes a great deal to put on a day like today together and the committee really appreciates it," Ms Smith said.

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