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Tools and calculators

March 22, 2021

“Know your numbers, and have a plan.”

By the end of 2022, all of our farms need to know their greenhouse gas numbers. Knowing your numbers is the first step towards managing and knowing how to reduce, your nitrous oxide and methane emissions, and maintaining and increasing your on-farm sequestration.

Two sources of information from He Waka Eke Noa: The Primary Sector Climate Action Partnership can help industry bodies and farmers understand their agricultural greenhouse gas emissions, mitigation, and sequestration options.

  1. Greenhouse Gases: Farm Planning Guidance
  2. Current tools and calculators that meet requirements for calculating greenhouse gases.

 

About the Farm Planning Guidance.

This is a guide for farmers and growers to help measure, manage and reduce greenhouse gas emissions and identify sequestration opportunities.

  • Industry bodies are incorporating guidance into their farm environment plans.
  • Many farms already have a farm plan, often as part of their industry assurance programme.
  • The guidance is to help farmers, growers, and advisors to include managing greenhouse gases into farm planning, by understanding their emissions profile and what contributes to it, exploring opportunities to reduce it, and keeping good farm records.
  • It sets out basic principles to guide farmers and growers, backed by practical information on opportunities to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and capture carbon.

About the tools and calculators assessed in the Greenhouse Gases Model Assessment Report

AgFirst assessed publicly available tools to ensure that they used methodologies and definitions that are appropriate for He Waka Eke Noa. More tools will be assessed over the next three months, including Beef + Lamb New Zealand’s GHG calculator, and tools from Toitū, Foundation for Arable Research (FAR), and New Zealand Pork.

Assessed so far are HortNZ, MfE, Alltech, E2M, Fonterra/AIM, Farmax and Overseer.

What does this mean for farmers and growers?

Every farm in New Zealand needs to know its numbers by the end of 2022. Around 11,000 farmers already have a GHG number for their farm.

It’s good to get a handle on your GHG numbers now, so you can start thinking about how to manage and potentially reduce them.

The more farmers and growers can show we know our numbers and have a plan, the better for our reputation with customers, the community and the Government. The He Waka Eke Noa partnership is working towards the primary sector having a greenhouse gas management system that works for us, so it’s important to meet our milestones.

Some tools also let you estimate sequestration on your farms, and it’s good to start getting an understanding of that too.

Not all farms have the same opportunity to reduce emissions, and some are already highly efficient, but the choices each farmer makes will have a collective impact on Aotearoa’s agricultural greenhouse gas emissions.

The Partnership is still working to develop the farm-level emissions pricing system for 2025. The definition of a farm and tools approved for use in the ultimate pricing system may be different to those that are available now to help farmers understand your emissions numbers.

Want to know your numbers? You have several options:

  • You can talk to your industry representative or supply company about their incorporation of GHG into Farm Environment Plans.
  • You might like to look at your numbers yourself and consider some of the ways you could change them with ideas listed in the farm planning guidance.
  • You can talk to your farm consultant about which calculation tools or methods they like to use and what they offer.

Knowing more about on-farm emissions

This year He Waka Eke Noa is also working on:

  1. Recommendations for an appropriate farm level emissions pricing system from 2025 as an alternative to the Emissions Trading Scheme
  2. Recognition and measurement of on-farm sequestration that will be a part of the pricing system. Farmers and growers are involved in this ongoing work.

For more information talk to your industry body, go to https://hewakaekenoa.nz, or email yourfeedback@hewakaekenoa.nz.

You can download this summary in a pdf factsheet for easy printing here.

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