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Factsheets, case studies and DVDs

Watch the CCRP videos on the Department of Agriculture YouTube channel

The Climate Change Research Program case studies and videos on this page cover an overview of the research outcomes and a program overview.

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Program Overview

Livestock Emissions

Methane emissions: Financial boost and methane reductions from beef cattle in Northern Australia

There is good news on several fronts for beef producers in northern Australia from the Australian Government funded Reducing Emissions from Livestock Research Program (RELRP). Dr Ed Charmley, research program leader with the CSIRO at Landsown Research Station led a key part of the program — that measured methane emissions and looked at ways to reduce emissions in the northern Australian cattle herd.

RELRP forages: Shrubs to reduce methane in livestock

Scientists, received funding through the Australian Government $46.2 million Climate Change Research Program to research whether plants that have been in Australia for millions of years could be integral to reducing methane emissions. Associate Professor Phil Vercoe, from the University of Western Australia, worked for the past three years on forage trials to reduce methane emissions.

RELRP genetics: Science proves it’s possible to breed green livestock

One day it just might be possible to select sheep or cattle that also have a smaller environmental footprint with Australian scientists proving that it is possible to breed livestock that produce less methane whilst maintaining productivity. World-class research conducted in Armidale, New South Wales was just one part of 39 research projects coordinated by Meat & Livestock Australia through the Reducing Emissions from Livestock Research Program (RELRP).

Feeding fats and oils: Oils ain’t oils

Victorian dairy producers' trialled natural feed additives to improve dairy conditions by reducing dust in the dairy at milking time and reduce their carbon footprint. New research conducted in Victoria indicates that adding dietary fat supplements, such as brewers’ grain, a by-product of the beer-making process, to cattle feed could reduce methane emissions by 15 to 20 per cent.

Related media releases on livestock emissions

Nitrous Oxide emissions

Nitrous oxide north: De-mystifying nitrous oxide

Professor Peter Grace from Queensland University of Technology who led the Australian Government’s Australia’s Farming Future Nitrous Oxide Research Program (NORP), said nitrous oxide is emitted naturally from the microbial processes in the soil. However, the majority of nitrous oxide emissions come from human activities, with much of this resulting from agriculture.

Results of the national research program do not only quantify Australia’s nitrous oxide gas emissions, but also help farmers develop new ways to manage the gas.

Nitrous oxide south: No longer such a mystery

Results from a national research program do not only quantify Australia’s nitrous oxide emissions, but also help farmers develop new ways to manage the gas.
Professor Peter Grace who headed the Australian Government’s Nitrous Oxide Research Program (NORP) said the majority of nitrous oxide emissions come from human activities, with much of this resulting from agriculture.

Related media releases on nitrous oxide emissions

Soil Carbon

Soil Carbon north: Soils ain’t soils – a Queensland perspective

In Queensland, researchers collected another 300 soil samples from farmers in a bid to help them understand more about the role soil carbon plays in a productive farming system. This Queensland research was part of the $4.9 million National Adaptation and Mitigation Initiative (NAMI).

Soil Carbon south: Soils ain’t soils – soil carbon in southern Australia

Research teams in each state collected more than 16 000 individual soil samples from 3 500 locations across Australia’s agricultural regions. Roger Lange, who runs a 2750-hectare cropping/grazing enterprise in a 375-400 mm rainfall zone near Appila in South Australia’s upper north, had his soil carbon tested as part of the project.

Biochar

Biochar: Biochar trials show positive signs for agricultural soil enrichment & reducing emissions

Preliminary trials have been undertaken into the use of biochars, a stable form of charcoal created by heating natural organic materials such as wood chips, crop waste or manure in a low oxygen process known as pyrolysis. The resulting product, which is rich in carbon, is applied to agricultural land to replace carbon lost over time and improve soil properties such as water-holding capacity, pH and cation exchange capacity.

NAMI western: On-farm research gets to the bottom of soil health

The University of Western Australia’s (UWA) ‘Ridgefield’ property, two hours southeast of Perth was one of four demonstration sites across the country supported with funding from the Australian Government’s $46.2 million Climate Change Research Program (CCRP).

Graeme Martin heads the School of Animal Biology at UWA and is responsible for the direction of the ‘UWA Future Farm 2050’ project. Professor Martin said a major aim of the project was to show producers that it is possible to maintain productivity and profitability in spite of a hotter and drier climate.

Adaptation and demonstration

Resilient cropping: Scientists used farmers’ knowledge to identify the settings for successful mixed farming

Through the Australian Government’s Climate Change Research Program, researchers received funding to work with 14 farmer groups in 35 sites across Australia’s wheat belt to identify activities they believe would make them resilient to climate variability and change.

Southern Livestock Adaptation: Looked at the future to help farmers today

Forty six locations across the country, from Mt Barker in Western Australia through to Moss Vale in New South Wales, looked at on-farm activities that primary producers in southern Australia can implement as climate patterns change across the country.

The Southern Livestock Adaptation Program (SLA) combined global circulation models and local weather data to simulate the impact on pasture production, livestock production and gross margins in the beef, sheep and dairy industries in the years 2030 and 2050.

NAMI north: Demonstration farm took science out of the lab and into the paddock

Dr David Lawrence, Principal Extension Officer with the Queensland Department of Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation (DEEDI), said the National Adaptation and Mitigation Initiative (NAMI) helped farmers understand climate change and provided them with practical ways they can adapt to long term climate change and seasonal variability.

Related media releases on adaptation and demonstration.