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Whole Farm Net Greenhouse Gas Abatement from Establishing Kikuyu-Based Perennial Pastures in South-Western Australia.

Thomas DT, Sanderman J, Eady SJ, Masters DG, Sanford P - Animals (Basel) (2012)

Bottom Line: Our results indicate that livestock systems using perennial pastures may have substantially lower net GHG emissions, and reduced GHG intensity of production, compared with annual plant-based production systems.The net benefit of this practice change was 0.61 t CO₂-e farm ha(-1) yr(-1) while the rate of soil carbon accumulation remains constant.The use of perennial pastures improved the efficiency of animal production almost eight fold when expressed as carbon dioxide equivalent emissions per unit of animal product.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: CSIRO Center for Environment and Life Sciences, Private Bag 5, Wembley, WA 6913, Australia. dean.thomas@csiro.au.

ABSTRACT
On-farm activities that reduce GHG emissions or sequester carbon from the atmosphere to compensate for anthropogenic emissions are currently being evaluated by the Australian Government as carbon offset opportunities. The aim of this study was to examine the implications of establishing and grazing Kikuyu pastures, integrated as part of a mixed Merino sheep and cropping system, as a carbon offset mechanism. For the assessment of changes in net greenhouse gas emissions, results from a combination of whole farm economic and livestock models were used (MIDAS and GrassGro). Net GHG emissions were determined by deducting increased emissions from introducing this practice change (increased methane and nitrous oxide emissions due to higher stocking rates) from the soil carbon sequestered from growing the Kikuyu pasture. Our results indicate that livestock systems using perennial pastures may have substantially lower net GHG emissions, and reduced GHG intensity of production, compared with annual plant-based production systems. Soil carbon accumulation by converting 45% of arable land within a farm enterprise to Kikuyu-based pasture was determined to be 0.80 t CO₂-e farm ha(-1) yr(-1) and increased GHG emissions (leakage) was 0.19 t CO₂-e farm ha(-1) yr(-1). The net benefit of this practice change was 0.61 t CO₂-e farm ha(-1) yr(-1) while the rate of soil carbon accumulation remains constant. The use of perennial pastures improved the efficiency of animal production almost eight fold when expressed as carbon dioxide equivalent emissions per unit of animal product. The strategy of using perennial pasture to improve production levels and store additional carbon in the soil demonstrates how livestock should be considered in farming systems as both sources and sinks for GHG abatement.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Relationship between farm stocking rate and the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions abatement value of establishing Kikuyu pasture in place of annual pasture, based on a linear increase in farm GHG emissions with soil carbon storage kept constant. The vertical checked line indicates the likely change in farm stocking rate based on MIDAS bioeconomic modelling [10].
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animals-02-00316-f001: Relationship between farm stocking rate and the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions abatement value of establishing Kikuyu pasture in place of annual pasture, based on a linear increase in farm GHG emissions with soil carbon storage kept constant. The vertical checked line indicates the likely change in farm stocking rate based on MIDAS bioeconomic modelling [10].

Mentions: Effects of different changes to stocking rate coinciding with the establishment of Kikuyu on 45% of arable farm land are reported in Figure 1. This figure indicates that establishing Kikuyu pasture is likely to have a positive GHG emissions abatement value even if the farm stocking rate is doubled (at double normal stocking rate the net abatement value would be 0.30 t CO2-e pasture ha−1 yr−1), although this scenario is not expected because the business is likely to become less profitable. The model predicts that the value of establishing Kikuyu at the proposed level as a carbon offset would be reduced by 0.085 t CO2-e pasture ha−1 yr−1 for every 10% increase in farm stock numbers (Figure 1).


Whole Farm Net Greenhouse Gas Abatement from Establishing Kikuyu-Based Perennial Pastures in South-Western Australia.

Thomas DT, Sanderman J, Eady SJ, Masters DG, Sanford P - Animals (Basel) (2012)

Relationship between farm stocking rate and the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions abatement value of establishing Kikuyu pasture in place of annual pasture, based on a linear increase in farm GHG emissions with soil carbon storage kept constant. The vertical checked line indicates the likely change in farm stocking rate based on MIDAS bioeconomic modelling [10].
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4494294&req=5

animals-02-00316-f001: Relationship between farm stocking rate and the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions abatement value of establishing Kikuyu pasture in place of annual pasture, based on a linear increase in farm GHG emissions with soil carbon storage kept constant. The vertical checked line indicates the likely change in farm stocking rate based on MIDAS bioeconomic modelling [10].
Mentions: Effects of different changes to stocking rate coinciding with the establishment of Kikuyu on 45% of arable farm land are reported in Figure 1. This figure indicates that establishing Kikuyu pasture is likely to have a positive GHG emissions abatement value even if the farm stocking rate is doubled (at double normal stocking rate the net abatement value would be 0.30 t CO2-e pasture ha−1 yr−1), although this scenario is not expected because the business is likely to become less profitable. The model predicts that the value of establishing Kikuyu at the proposed level as a carbon offset would be reduced by 0.085 t CO2-e pasture ha−1 yr−1 for every 10% increase in farm stock numbers (Figure 1).

Bottom Line: Our results indicate that livestock systems using perennial pastures may have substantially lower net GHG emissions, and reduced GHG intensity of production, compared with annual plant-based production systems.The net benefit of this practice change was 0.61 t CO₂-e farm ha(-1) yr(-1) while the rate of soil carbon accumulation remains constant.The use of perennial pastures improved the efficiency of animal production almost eight fold when expressed as carbon dioxide equivalent emissions per unit of animal product.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: CSIRO Center for Environment and Life Sciences, Private Bag 5, Wembley, WA 6913, Australia. dean.thomas@csiro.au.

ABSTRACT
On-farm activities that reduce GHG emissions or sequester carbon from the atmosphere to compensate for anthropogenic emissions are currently being evaluated by the Australian Government as carbon offset opportunities. The aim of this study was to examine the implications of establishing and grazing Kikuyu pastures, integrated as part of a mixed Merino sheep and cropping system, as a carbon offset mechanism. For the assessment of changes in net greenhouse gas emissions, results from a combination of whole farm economic and livestock models were used (MIDAS and GrassGro). Net GHG emissions were determined by deducting increased emissions from introducing this practice change (increased methane and nitrous oxide emissions due to higher stocking rates) from the soil carbon sequestered from growing the Kikuyu pasture. Our results indicate that livestock systems using perennial pastures may have substantially lower net GHG emissions, and reduced GHG intensity of production, compared with annual plant-based production systems. Soil carbon accumulation by converting 45% of arable land within a farm enterprise to Kikuyu-based pasture was determined to be 0.80 t CO₂-e farm ha(-1) yr(-1) and increased GHG emissions (leakage) was 0.19 t CO₂-e farm ha(-1) yr(-1). The net benefit of this practice change was 0.61 t CO₂-e farm ha(-1) yr(-1) while the rate of soil carbon accumulation remains constant. The use of perennial pastures improved the efficiency of animal production almost eight fold when expressed as carbon dioxide equivalent emissions per unit of animal product. The strategy of using perennial pasture to improve production levels and store additional carbon in the soil demonstrates how livestock should be considered in farming systems as both sources and sinks for GHG abatement.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus