- $4.2 million investment in 2022-23 State Budget in practical science to help livestock farmers reduce their carbon footprint
- Research focused on reducing emissions from livestock and increasing carbon sequestration
- Builds on the $3.8 million invested in Katanning Sheep Feed Intake Facility
- Support's McGowan Government's commitment to net zero for WA by 2050
The McGowan Labor Government is investing in the future of agriculture with a $4.2 million investment in carbon sequestration and emissions reduction science at its Katanning Research Station - supporting Western Australia's commitment to net zero emissions by 2050.
The research and development funding will provide evidence for WA farmers to confidently adopt new farming practices and technologies to build more sustainable businesses and satisfy increasing market demand for low emissions products.
Greenhouse gas emissions are a major contributor to climate change and nearly 80 per cent of agricultural emissions in WA come from the livestock sector.
Research scientists will test a range of ready-to-apply mitigation and sequestration practices and systems at the demonstration site, which together aim to reduce greenhouse gas emissions on the 2100 hectare property by 100 per cent by 2030.
Preparations are already underway on carbon projects at the site, including regeneration of saline land to capture carbon, planting anti-methanogenic pastures, soil carbon monitoring to undertake benchmarking and restructuring the sheep flock for greater efficiency.
New research on feed additives, anti-methanogenic pasture systems and cropping and soil ameliorants to enhance carbon sequestration will also build local knowledge to support more sustainable management systems for WA broadacre producers.
An additional asset at the site is the new $3.8 million 20-pen Sheep Feed Intake Facility - the largest of its kind in Australia.
The facility features a semi-controlled environment, including technology to continuously monitor temperature and an automated feed delivery system.
The sheep facility will be used for research by the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development and collaborators, while other research institutions and universities will also use the facility's assets for related livestock research.
This latest investment adds to the State Government's commitment to building the sustainability and resilience of WA agriculture, alongside the $15 million WA Agriculture Climate Resilience Fund and the WA Carbon Farming and Land Restoration Program.
Comments attributed to Agriculture and Food Minister Alannah MacTiernan:
"Global markets are changing rapidly and it's important our agriculture industries have the know-how and technology to supply what customers want - food and fibre produced from low emissions farming systems.
"This investment at the Katanning Research Station will put the science behind the systems so farmers have the confidence to adapt their businesses to remain relevant and competitive.
"There are also significant benefits to be gained from going carbon neutral, such as improved soil productivity, biodiversity and conservation, enhanced climate resilience and business sustainability, as well as the opportunity to participate in the carbon farming market.
"I am particularly excited about the research in the Sheep Feed Intake Facility to reduce methane emissions from livestock, which is the biggest source of greenhouse gases produced on-farm.
"The McGowan Government is leading the way in investing in R&D to ensure our agricultural industries are equipped with the knowledge, tools and technologies required to remain ahead of the game in an increasingly diverse and complex global marketplace."
Minister's office - 6552 6200