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Farmers taught how to benefit from carbon innovation
28/06/2012 - Farmers could reduce their energy bills if they're prepared to invest in innovation to drive down carbon emissions.
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With the federal government's carbon tax just days away, about 50 people turned out in Sydney on Wednesday for a seminar about carbon farming and the opportunities available to farmers who want to innovate in the sector.
The seminar, hosted by NSW Farmers' Association and Sydney Metropolitan Catchment Management Authority, focused on the federal government's clean energy future plan and the carbon farming initiative.
NSW Farmers' Association General Manager of Research and Development David Eyre says farmers are being encouraged to look at how they can reduce their carbon emissions, in a way that complements their existing business.
"We're encouraging farmers to develop innovation strategies," Eyre told reporters.
"We're also encouraging farmers to think very carefully about energy, because it is a major input cost and it changes the viability of farm businesses the more and more energy prices go up."
One farmer has implemented a scheme where effluent is collected and the methane emissions are captured then burned to generate electricity, Eyre said.
"They're reducing their energy bills and increasing their energy security, because energy price are going to go up," he said.
"In addition to that they'll be able to get some cash flow from methane abatement under the carbon farming initiative."
Eyre said reducing carbon emissions and looking at ways to improve energy efficiency were complementary activities.
Grants are available to farmers who have an appetite for innovation and want to develop carbon schemes, he said.
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