In Agriculture

Western Australia Minister for Agriculture and Food Terry Redman

Testing Carbon Farming As A Salinity Solution

Victor P Taffa

  • State Government invests in new approach to fighting salt problem
  • Project to assess opportunities for carbon farming and salinity management

Salt-affected agricultural land will be the target of $330,000 in Liberal-National Government funding towards a project to test carbon-driven solutions to salinity.

Funded through the State Natural Resource Management program, the two-year undertaking will investigate carbon farming as a means of managing salinity.

Agriculture and Food Minister Terry Redman said the project would be led by the Northern Agricultural Catchment Council, with scientific and technical expertise provided by the Department of Agriculture and Food.

“The strategy involves developing farm-based carbon farming information and accounting tools to help Wheatbelt farmers respond to climate change and manage salinity.” Mr. Redman said.

“Traditionally, many land managers in the northern Wheatbelt have attempted to address salinity through saltbush plantings, which also provides feed for stock.”

“However, the recent trend in the area towards fewer stock and increased cropping has meant this may no longer be a solution.”

“With the introduction of a carbon price, the ability of salt tolerant native species to sequester carbon has the potential to provide farmers with another option to manage salinity.”

The department will select at least six existing planted trial sites which have multiple native species to determine carbon sequestration.

“The project will provide a greater understanding of the opportunities that carbon farming brings for salinity management and allow landholders, governments, NRM groups and industry to make more informed decisions.” the Minister said.

Mr. Redman thanked Agricultural Region MLC Mia Davies who launched the project today in Kalannie on his behalf.

Fact File

  • About 1.1 Million ha of South-West land is currently salt affected
  • Source: State of the Environment Report, Western Australia, 2007

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