WA farmers are set to pocket at least $80 million in carbon credits, thanks to a new Perth-based company which rewards them for storing carbon as part of their normal land improvement activities. TerraWise — a joint venture of farm consultants Planfarm, environmental consultancy New Growth and agri-investor Seabourn Capital — is to be registered with the Commonwealth Energy Regulator. It will become the first company to generate Australian carbon credit units through existing best practice soil amelioration (mechanical soil improvements) and revegetation activities in the Wheatbelt. To earn the credits, farmers must show through baseline monitoring that carbon is being stored in the soils as a result of the activities, and a measurement system has been developed by TerraWise. Seventy-five WA farmers registered interest, covering 350,000 hectares and with an estimated capacity to generate four million credits, worth about $80m, over 25 years. Further further interest are likely to be run each year, and with the Wheatbelt covering 20m hectares, there is vast potential for growth. Planfarm director Eric Hall said previous WA carbon sequestration projects involved buying swathes of land for tree planting, locking up potentially productive land for years. Mr Hall said the TerraWise initiative was game-changing because farmers could earn credits through normal activities undertaken as part of best-practice farming. “It’s been a personal frustration of mine that farmers regularly do this type of work to improve their farms, which sequesters carbon in the soil, but have not been rewarded,” he said. “To be paid ACCUs for measures they are adopting anyway, and without setting aside arable land, is a game-changer for WA farmers.” Those expressing interest included Stafford Capital Partners, a $US7.7 billion global alternatives fund manager, whose agriculture funds own farms WA stretching north to Binnu and south to Salmon Gums. Stafford vice-president James Allen said the TerraWise initiative appealed because it could increase the amount of carbon it sequestered, while potentially increasing investor returns via carbon credits through best practice farming and improved land management techniques. The expressions of interest process also generated significant interest from large corporates seeking to offset carbon emissions and international investors motivated by ESG factors.