Agriculture emissions mitigation

Farms are in the fortunate situation where they have opportunities to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions produced from their livestock by how they manage their farm.

Farms have residues from their crops, animals, and tree and vegetation planting which can be a tool for mitigation.  Absorption of carbon dioxide by trees and vegetation (including grass) is a significant direct mitigation tool.  The right vegetation or trees in the right place can also be a revenue stream for the farm.

Recycling farm residues to produce energy and fertiliser can be a direct and indirect mitigator.  If the energy produced from farm residues is able to be used to offset on-farm use of fossil fuels then there is a direct mitigation effect.  Use of a biofertiliser instead of purchased synthetic fertiliser will have a direct effect.  If biomass residues are exported from the farm and used as a biofuel then there is an indirect effect.  Currently the offsetting of use of fossil fuels from sale of biomass from the farm provides no mitigation benefit to the farmer as the NZETS doesn’t recognise this value.

Many of the mitigation tools can be on-farm or (more efficiently) achieved by cooperative action with neighbours.