An analysis of the socio-economic factors influencing the adoption of conservation agriculture as a climate change mitigation activity in Australian dryland grain production

Rochecouste, Jean-Francois, Dargusch, Paul, Cameron, Donald and Smith, Carl (2015) An analysis of the socio-economic factors influencing the adoption of conservation agriculture as a climate change mitigation activity in Australian dryland grain production. Agricultural Systems, 135 20-30. doi:10.1016/j.agsy.2014.12.002


Author Rochecouste, Jean-Francois
Dargusch, Paul
Cameron, Donald
Smith, Carl
Title An analysis of the socio-economic factors influencing the adoption of conservation agriculture as a climate change mitigation activity in Australian dryland grain production
Journal name Agricultural Systems   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0308-521X
1873-2267
Publication date 2015-05-01
Year available 2015
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.agsy.2014.12.002
Open Access Status
Volume 135
Start page 20
End page 30
Total pages 11
Place of publication Amsterdam, Netherlands
Publisher Elsevier Ltd
Collection year 2016
Language eng
Formatted abstract
The cropping sector in Australia contributes 2.5% of national greenhouse gas emissions, not accounting for the historical loss of soil carbon. The Australian Government is developing policy initiatives targeted at farmers to encourage changes in management practices that aim to reduce emissions from the agricultural sector. The main policy proposal being developed is a market-based mechanism to pay farmers from an Emissions Reduction Fund using methodologies specified under the Australian Carbon Farming Initiative. The adoption of conservation agriculture practices in the dryland grain sector in Australia shows the potential to achieve emissions reductions in the order of three million tCO2e annually. This paper presents a series of systems models that describe the process of how Australian dryland grain farmers decide to change and adopt conservation agriculture practices. Results indicate that a number of economic and social factors drive the rate of practice change, and change seems to be motivated mostly by the pursuit of productivity benefits rather than environmental benefits. We postulate that it may be more effective for climate policy to directly target the adoption of conservation agriculture practices amongst Australian dryland grain farmers by promoting the crop productivity benefits likely to be achieved by such practices, rather than attempting to develop a market-based mechanism for carbon payments. Under this approach, emissions reduction outcomes and carbon payments would not be the primary driver for changing farming practices, but rather a concurrent benefit.
Keyword Emissions Reduction Fund
Soil carbon
No-tillage
Environmental plantings
Crop rotation
Carbon Farming Initiative
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

 
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