Riverine Plains' CSI participants

CSI participants discuss GHG emissions, tour Mars Petcare

Cool Soil Initiative participants from the Riverine Plains region recently met to discuss their on-farm greenhouse gas emissions and tour the Mars Petcare factory in Wodonga.

Mars Petcare is a founding partner of the Cool Soil Initiative, which has been joined more recently by Kellogg’s, Manildra Group, Allied Pinnacle, Charles Sturt University and the Food Agility Cooperative Research Centre.

The Cool Soil Initiative project supports wheat and maize growers to monitor and manage their greenhouse gas emissions, while also exploring how different farming practices can provide long-term carbon and soil health benefits.

As part of the Initiative, farmers submit crop input and paddock history data, which when combined with soil test data and yield results, allows greenhouse gas emissions to be calculated for each paddock.

Being involved in the Initiative helps farmers pinpoint areas of inefficiency and production constraints within their farming systems, which has the potential to generate significant input cost savings and production gains. It has also helped highlight the factors driving on-farm emissions and the factors that can influence the spectrum of results season-to-season.

Mars Petcare is a significant purchaser of grain from southern NSW and north-eastern Victoria and the day also provided an opportunity for farmers to tour the Mars Petcare manufacturing facility at Wodonga and hear how the company is working to reduce the environmental impacts of the business.

The importance of quantifying on-farm emissions is only likely to increase over time as a result of government and consumer pressure, and Riverine Plains is excited that this project is leading the way in providing a framework for local farmers to start considering their emissions.

Wheat and Maize farmers interested in learning more about monitoring their emissions through the Cool Soil Initiative are invited to contact Riverine Plains’ Project Officer Jane McInnes, by phoning (03) 5744 1713 or emailing jane@riverineplains.org.au

Further information about the Cool Soil Initiative is available at https://riverineplains.org.au/cool-soil-initiative/

The Cool Soil Initiative is funded by Mars Petcare and the Sustainable Food Lab, Kellogg’s, Manildra Group and Allied Pinnacle, in partnership with Charles Sturt University and the Food Agility Cooperative Research Centre (CRC).