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 and Dargusch, Paul and 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. pp. 20-30. ISSN 0308-521X

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 among 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.


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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Permanent restricted access to published version in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.
Faculty / Department / School: Current - Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts - No Department
Date Deposited: 04 May 2016 04:43
Last Modified: 01 Aug 2016 06:19
Uncontrolled Keywords: Emissions Reduction Fund; soil carbon; no-tillage; environmental plantings; crop rotation; Carbon Farming Initiative
Fields of Research : 05 Environmental Sciences > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050205 Environmental Management
07 Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences > 0701 Agriculture, Land and Farm Management > 070101 Agricultural Land Management
Socio-Economic Objective: D Environment > 96 Environment > 9603 Climate and Climate Change > 960302 Climate Change Mitigation Strategies
Identification Number or DOI: 10.1016/j.agsy.2014.12.002
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/28744

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