A Look at the Farm Machinery Shortage in Australia

The National Farmers Federation (NFF) has expressed its support for the net zero emissions by 2050 target and agribusinesses overall have a personal interest in reducing the adverse effect of greenhouse gas emissions on the environment.

After all, the resulting climate change issues have caused both drought and flooding in recent years which have resulted in significant financial losses for many businesses within the agriculture sector.

Businesses can also gain carbon credits which can be traded on carbon markets if they introduce a Climate Solutions Fund project.

Given the obvious need for change in order to achieve the net zero emissions target, net zero innovation in Australian agribusinesses has come to the forefront of industry climate action.

Key points

  •       The National Farmers Federation (NFF) has expressed its support for the policy of net zero emissions by 2050 and agribusinesses overall have a personal interest in reducing the adverse effect of carbon emissions on the environment.
  •       Technology backs many climate centred innovation initiatives in Australia such as Sustinet and Regrow.
  •       In addition to technology, innovative nature-based solutions (NBS) have a vital role to play in achieving net zero emissions.
  •       The findings in a recent whitepaper suggest that innovative scalable systems need to be introduced and widely adopted in the agriculture industry. For this to happen, the government must be onboard, and farmers must be supported and receive good leadership.

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Transforming green waste into new resources

Technology backs many climate centred innovation initiatives in Australia. Sustinet is good example of a creative agtech solution that is helping to revolutionise the agricultural landscape.

The Sustinet process transforms lignocellulosic waste, like crop stubble and sugarcane waste, into environmentally valuable products. These products include high-quality feed for livestock.

This process with global potential is helpful to the planet and also creates useful products for the agriculture industry.

Transforming agricultural systems

If net zero emission targets are to be met, agricultural systems in the farm sector need to be revolutionised. Flurosat developed an automated tracking solution that monitors and manages the growing of crop while CEO Anastasia Volkova, PhD, was living in Australia. This solution reduces waste and emissions.

The company has now joined with Dagan, a start-up that created innovative soil biogeochemical modelling. The resulting Regrow brand is now a global force in transforming agricultural systems.

Nature based solutions

In addition to technology, innovative nature-based solutions (NBS) have a vital role to play in achieving net zero emissions. These solutions include:

  •       Tree planting
  •       Revegetation
  •       Watershed protection

When introduced to agricultural practices they serve to reduce emissions as well as improving biodiversity, improving the management of land, and increasing output.

Practices such as tree planting are also an essential aspect of carbon farming. This practice falls into two main categories, sequestering more carbon from the atmosphere, of which tree planting is an integral part, and reducing the release of carbon emissions.

A further example of using NBS is Sea Forest. This company is exploring innovative techniques using seaweed-based feed supplement. Doing this reduces the amount of methane emissions produced by ruminant livestock, thereby improving the environment.

Biodiversity creating sustainable agriculture

Biodiversity plays a pivotal role in the sustainability of agriculture in Australia and globally. Odonata is a company involved with the development of processes to reintroduce native animals into farms. Doing this will help to improve drought resilience and make it easier to manage pests while reducing input costs.

Odonata is being supported in sharing and enhancing its knowledge by the National Australia Bank (NAB) as a result of funding from the NAB Foundation which is part of NAB’s Natural Value strategy.

Work required to improve the adoption of innovative techniques

A recent whitepaper titled “Change at our feet – Australian agriculture’s role and responsibility in mitigating climate change” identified challenges to be addressed in order for agriculture to be a champion for climate change in Australia.

The white paper was produced as a result of consultations with industry experts including entrepreneurs, producers, and scientists. It recognised that Australia has the ability to be a climate change leader. In order for this to happen, scalable systems need to be introduced and widely adopted in the agriculture industry.

The findings in the white paper suggest that farmers require support and leadership to make it easier for them to embrace long-term sustainability focussed practices. They also recommend that the government seizes the opportunity to uncover new technologies and systems and support them.

It’s clear that innovative solutions like Sustinet, Regrow, Sea Forest, and Odonata are already making real changes and helping agribusinesses in Australia to achieve net zero. More innovative solutions are likely to emerge if the Australian government and the agriculture industry continue to support them.

 

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