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Implications of retaining woody regrowth for carbon sequestration for an extensive grazing beef business: a bio-economic modelling case study

Whish, Giselle and Pahl, Lester and Bray, Steven (2016) Implications of retaining woody regrowth for carbon sequestration for an extensive grazing beef business: a bio-economic modelling case study. The Rangeland Journal, 38 (3). pp. 319-330.

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Article Link(s): http://www.publish.csiro.au/paper/RJ15095

Abstract

A bio-economic modelling framework (GRASP-ENTERPRISE) was used to assess the implications of retaining woody regrowth for carbon sequestration on a case study beef grazing property in northern Australia. Five carbon farming scenarios, ranging from 0% to 100% of the property regrowth retained for carbon sequestration, were simulated over a 20-year period (1993–2012). Dedicating regrowth on the property for carbon sequestration reduced pasture (up to 40%) and herd productivity (up to 20%), and resulted in financial losses (up to 24% reduction in total gross margin). A net carbon income (income after grazing management expenses are removed) of $2–4 per t CO2-e was required to offset economic losses of retaining regrowth on a moderately productive (~8 ha adult equivalent–1) property where income was from the sale of weaners. A higher opportunity cost ($ t–1 CO2-e) of retaining woody regrowth is likely for feeder steer or finishing operations, with improved cattle prices, and where the substantial transaction and reporting costs are included. Although uncertainty remains around the price received for carbon farming activities, this study demonstrated that a conservatively stocked breeding operation can achieve positive production, environmental and economic outcomes, including net carbon stock. This study was based on a beef enterprise in central Queensland’s grazing lands, however, the approach and learnings are expected to be applicable across northern Australia where regrowth is present.

Item Type:Article
Business groups:Animal Science
Keywords:beef production, carbon farming, carbon price, livestock emissions, rangelands, tree regrowth.
Subjects:Agriculture > Agriculture (General) > Agricultural economics
Science > Statistics
Agriculture > Agriculture (General) > Agricultural conservation
Animal culture > Cattle
Animal culture > Rangelands. Range management. Grazing
Deposited On:04 Aug 2016 06:28
Last Modified:04 Aug 2016 06:28

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