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

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

  • Matthew Harrison, Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture
  • Richard Eckard, PICCC

Publications

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.

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