Farm Tender

Birds and the Bees

Extracted from the Farm Tender weekly Newsletter - Sign up and get the email every Wednesday morning before 6 am.

By Dwain Duxson.

Firstly, on behalf of all of us here at Farm Tender (and divisions), I wish you and your family a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. We really do appreciate your business and input throughout the year. Here's hoping we can all have a prosperous 2022. I personally would also like to take this opportunity to thank all our staff, we have a wonderful lineup of people that all love their jobs and go to great lengths each and every day to help our customers.

The lead photo above is what we will see more of in the future as far as marketing is concerned, as companies try to muscle up their clean and green credentials to entice customers. Nature-based images that tug at the heartstrings.

Boardrooms globally are grappling with this stuff and are sold on the fact that they need to head in this direction.

Many big companies will go about their (sometimes dirty) business, buy some Carbon Credits and call themselves clean. In other words, they won't necessarily change the way they do things, they will get the required credits from somewhere else and bat on as per usual. That's going to be the system I guess.

As Farmer's, I think we need to be very careful in how we get involved. And with that, I am not saying don't get involved.

When and if you get time over the Christmas and the New Year period, please make sure you listen to this podcast (go to edition S2E12) that interviews Professor Richard Ecklan and read this article written by Kate Burke

Professor Eckland says it would be wise for Farmers not to sell any Carbon Credits to anyone as they might need them for their own use in years to come.

He also said the amount of Carbon we can store in the soil is minimal and depends on the seasonal conditions and the type of soils we are dealing with. The very best soils combined with a high rainfall year will see a maximum of around 5 percent of Carbon stored. In lower rainfall years or in lesser quality soils, it's going to be less.

According to Professor Eckland, we can't actually build Carbon levels constantly. It's more an up and down thing from year to year. "It's 95 to 98 percent about rainfall, and the rest is management," he said. It also depends on whether you run pastures year on year or a Cropping program. It's better explained in the podcast.

Making a profit is number one for Farmers. A profitable Farmer will explore opportunities that become available. They will experiment and tweak their business model. A Farmer in this (profitable) situation will look at the Climate Change issues that are around and adapt accordingly. If Farmers are going to help us get to the targets that are being set, they need to be profitable first snd foremost.

Kate, in her article, said "the prospect of signing up for 25 years – when the starting point is hard to measure, and the climate conditions that largely determine the outcome are completely unknown – seems like a risky bet".

As Farmers, we are aware of the changing climate and how it affects our Farm businesses. Big business and the general consumer are pretty much sold on which direction we are headed with the climate. In that lies opportunities for Farmers (2% of the population that occupy 55% of Australia's Land mass). But it isn't easy to define where the opportunities are. I guess they will present in time.

Kate outlines, "these contracts are not enticing for Farmers when Soil Carbon is hard to gain and easy to lose". To me, that is saying, don't expect to get rich from Carbon Credits and don't lock into something for an extended period of time.

I read a lot of Agriculture related material out of America, and there are Carbon related programs and platforms popping up left, right and centre. It's like every Agricultural related service provider wants to add a Carbon arm to their organisation.

There will be plenty of commentary on this Carbon space going forward, and you will hear a wide range of views and points, as outlined with the two bits of media I have linked. It's the way we are heading, whether we like it or not, as the push from businesses and consumers is compelling.

Tread your path, but carefully.

End of message

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