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Completing an Emissions Profile: Bruce & Trudy Pengilly Case Study

In 2023, ASHEEP & BEEF took up a new project, 'Carbon Neutral 2030: Getting started on farm', a Meat & Livestock Australia Producer Demonstration Site. Producers involved in the project now have an emissions profile for their farm completed and are putting together plans to reduce their net farm emissions.


Does my farm need to be carbon neutral by 2030

Involvement does not commit producers to becoming carbon neutral, their aim is to understand where the farm is at and make the intial steps to work toward the livestock industry's Carbon Neutral by 2030 (CN30) target


Project Facilitator Jan Clawson interviewed Bruce Pengilly to get his thoughts on completing a farm emissions profile.



Case Study:

Bruce and Trudy Pengilly

Cascade


Bruce and Trudy Pengilly run a Merino sheep flock including a stud and a cropping enterprise in the Cascade area with their son Thomas and his wife Courteney.


Cascade is 100km northwest of Esperance in southern WA.


Why did you join the project? “We had been thinking a carbon profile was something we would need to do in the future but didn’t know where to start. We saw joining the ASHEEP & BEEF project as a great opportunity especially being involved right from the start of the project,” Bruce said.


They have now completed two carbon emission profiles with the first being completed by their bank as part of their farm review. The second was completed after the first project workshop.


Bruce, Thomas, Courteney & Trudy Pengilly.
Bruce, Thomas, Courteney & Trudy Pengilly with granddaughter Elsie Hoffmann.

“We found the second profile a lot easier to complete, maybe because we had learnt more, but also, because during the workshop Richard Brake, the consultant for the project, recommended we refer to the net farm emissions as a ‘profile’ as opposed to a baseline or benchmark as we had been calling it. A profile feels more like a snapshot in time requiring less rigorous data,” Bruce said.


The Pengillys used the Primary Industries Climate Challenges Centre (PICCC) Sheep and Beef Greenhouse Accounting Framework (SB-GAF) tool. While Bruce felt they could have completed the calculation in about an hour, they actually took a couple of hours because they completed it as a family, with a lot of discussion.

What is the PICC SB-GAF tool?

They had no trouble finding any of the required information. What they did find difficult was where to record some information like planted trees or soil sample results. This information is not required in the SB-GAF tool.


Bruce noted that the accounting tool is constantly changing, the first profile they completed didn’t have provision for wool, which has now been included in the second profile.


What advice would you give someone thinking about completing an emissions profile? Don’t over think it, just make a start. Don’t stress the little stuff like how much fuel went into the generator or even chemical use. The big ones are fertiliser and enteric methane,” Bruce said.

Now that they have their net farm emissions number and emissions intensity, they plan to concentrate on improving their production efficiencies and let the carbon emissions reduce over time. The strategies they are using include reducing the age of the flock by selling older ewes, mating ewe lambs, sowing more vetch to increase legumes in the system, and applying to join a sheep methane trial to get a better understanding of sheep methane production.


In future Bruce is interested in using the Feed Efficiency Australian Sheep Breeding Value (ASBV) which is being developed. In the meantime, they are looking to reduce the overall frame size of their sheep, having come to the view that bigger sheep can be less feed efficient.



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