Farmers can now better understand the potential opportunities from carbon-reducing activities using a farming tool developed by CSIRO, Australia’s national science agency.
The LOOC-C (‘Look See’) app gives farmers detailed assessments of how their land and farming practices could be eligible for rebates under the Climate Solutions Fund (CSF).
The newest update of the app now includes measurement of soil carbon and beef cattle herd management.
The app gives estimates of abatement quantity for CSF methods in Australian Carbon Credit Units for specific land areas, like a paddock, and is consistent with the latest version of the National Carbon Accounting Model, which is used to estimate land sector carbon emissions.
This means LOOC-C users have access to the most up to date carbon estimates available, at the touch of a button.
CSIRO’s LOOC-C project leader, Peter Fitch, explains that the aim of the tool is to help farmers and land managers participate profitably in greenhouse gas mitigation and maximise the benefits to the land from carbon markets.
“LOOC-C is unique and the quickest way of finding out what carbon farming options are available for your farm, what you’re eligible for and what the benefits might be,” Mr Fitch said.
“We see it as a high-tech conversation starter that enables farmers to undertake a preliminary assessment of options and connect them with a suitable next step for their carbon farming journey.”
Dr Kate Andrews, CEO of NRM Regions Australia, has endorsed the tool since its launch in December 2019.
“This app is an example of what the industry needs at the moment, allowing opportunities in the carbon market to be explored simply and without obligation,” Dr Andrews said.
“You can tell that the development of the app included input from both landholders and project developers, it’s great to see these types of products coming from CSIRO.”
The Queensland Government has been quick to see the value of the tool and has been using the app as part of the roll out of its Land Restoration Fund.
Carbon farming is a way for landholders to help reduce national carbon emissions by capturing and holding carbon in their plants and soil, generate environmental and on-farm benefits, and get paid for it.
Examples can include planting trees, retaining vegetation rather than clearing it for cropping, reducing soil tillage or improving pasture for livestock.
The app can be accessed at https://looc-c.farm/
CSIRO has also developed a digital service allowing access to the app’s data streams for ag-tech companies and carbon service providers to add value to their products and services.