An assessment of greenhouse gas emissions: implications for the Australian cotton industry

Maraseni, T. N. and Cockfield, G. and Maroulis, J. (2010) An assessment of greenhouse gas emissions: implications for the Australian cotton industry. The Journal of Agricultural Science, 148 (5). pp. 501-510. ISSN 0021-8596

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The majority of cotton produced in Australia is exported. The Australian cotton industry must maintain product quality in order to remain globally competitive. In addition, carbon-conscious consumers need reassurance that the system used to grow the product is environmentally sustainable. The aim of the present study was to estimate greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions due to various farm inputs in three common types of cotton farming systems on the Darling Downs region, southern Queensland. Analysis revealed that GHG emissions for dryland solid-plant and dryland double-skip cotton farming systems are similar, but emissions are much higher for irrigated solid-plant cotton farming (1367, 1274 and 4841 kg CO2e/ha, respectively). However, if comparisons of GHG emissions are based on yield (per tonne), the positions of dryland double-skip farming and dryland solid-plant farming are reversed, but the position of irrigated cotton farming still remains as the highest GHG emitter. If the cotton industry comes under the Australian Government Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme (CPRS) without any subsidies and preconditions, and with a carbon price of A$25/t CO2e, the costs borne by each system would be A$66.8/t for the irrigated cotton industry, A$39.7/t for the dryland solid-plant cotton industry and A$43.6/t for the dryland double-skip cotton industry. This suggests that irrigated cotton would be more profitable in financial terms but with heavy environmental sustainability costs.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Published version deposited in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher (Cambridge Univ. Press).
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Faculty of Business - School of Accounting, Economics and Finance
Date Deposited: 12 Oct 2010 07:37
Last Modified: 17 Feb 2015 23:51
Uncontrolled Keywords: greenhouse gas emissions; cotton; Darling Downs; irrigation; emission control
Fields of Research : 05 Environmental Sciences > 0599 Other Environmental Sciences > 059999 Environmental Sciences not elsewhere classified
05 Environmental Sciences > 0503 Soil Sciences > 050301 Carbon Sequestration Science
07 Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences > 0703 Crop and Pasture Production > 070304 Crop and Pasture Biomass and Bioproducts
Socio-Economic Objective: B Economic Development > 82 Plant Production and Plant Primary Products > 8298 Environmentally Sustainable Plant Production > 829802 Management of Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Plant Production
Identification Number or DOI: 10.1017/S002185960999058X

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