Effects of flock and genetic management options on emissions, emissions intensity and farm profitability

Whole farm systems analysis from the WFSAM project

Researchers examined the effect of flock and genetic management options in wool growing systems on emissions, emissions intensity and farm profitability including varying lambing time, age of joining, weaning rates, and improving genetic parameters such as fleece weight and methane yield.

The change in average annual profitability ranged between 0 and 18% across the various strategies, while emissions intensity was reduced by between 0 and 10%.

Under current carbon offset conditions, subsidies greater than $200/t CO2-e would be required if economic returns from greenhouse gas abatement were to equal those from increased productivity, suggesting that there would be little incentive for wool producers to participate in the Carbon Farming Initiative through the strategies modelled here.

Key researchers


Alcock DJ, Harrison MT, Rawnsley RP, Eckard RJ (2015). Can animal genetics and flock management be used to reduce greenhouse gas emissions but also maintain productivity of wool-producing enterprises? Agricultural Systems, 132, 25-34, doi:10.1016/j.agsy.2014.06.007.

More information

Research Theme


Project Status


Project Leadership

Dr Christie Ho
  • Dr Christie Ho
  • Senior Research Scientist
  • Agriculture Victoria

Richard Eckard
  • Professor Richard Eckard
  • Director
  • Primary Industries Climate Challenges Centre

Richard Rawnsley
  • Dr Richard Rawnsley
  • Senior Research Scientist
  • Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture

Fact Sheet

Project Team

  • Dr Brendan Cullen
    University of Melbourne
  • Dr Matthew Harrison
    Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture
  • Dr Alexandria Sinnett
    Agriculture Victoria
  • Karen Christie
    Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture
  • Natalie Doran-Browne
    University of Melbourne

Funding Organisations

  • Agriculture Victoria
  • Australian Wool Innovation Limited
  • Dairy Australia
  • Department of Agriculture and Water Resources
  • Meat and Livestock Australia
  • Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture
  • University of Melbourne

Collaborating Organisations

  • Agriculture Victoria
  • Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture