Focus on agriculture and conservation for field days

Liv CasbenAAP
Farmers are encouraged to use their natural capital and learn agriculture's role in conservation (HANDOUT/MIKE TERRY)
Camera IconFarmers are encouraged to use their natural capital and learn agriculture's role in conservation (HANDOUT/MIKE TERRY) Credit: AAP

The role agriculture has to play in conservation is a key focus of the Wilmot field days in northern NSW.

Farmers who have been involved in Australia's soil carbon market will discuss how they have improved their biodiversity assets alongside pasture growth and soil health.

"I believe that agriculture's got an important part to play in solving all the conservation issues that we're worried about - biodiversity loss, climate change, nature repair," Alasdair MacLeod, chair of Macdoch Australia, which owns Wilmot, told AAP.

The event, at Hernani, in the Northern Rivers, will examine how farmers can focus on food production while accelerating natural capital assets on their farms.

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"We've tried to focus on sharing knowledge of grazing practices, sharing knowledge of carbon sequestration, and sharing knowledge of what we are doing here," Mr MacLeod said.

In 2021, Wilmot was the first Australian company to sell its soil carbon credits offshore to Microsoft in a $500,000 deal.

The international delegation includes Michael Doane from the global environmental organisation The Nature Conservancy, who will examine the role the food system can play in restoring nature.

"Investing in agriculture systems that help us restore nature is one of the most important opportunities for the future," Mr Doane told AAP.

The on-farm field days will show farmers how they can participate in the carbon market.

Mr Doane said Australia has a well-earned reputation of being a world leader in the soil carbon market.

"The world has a lot to learn from Australia," he said.

The audience was told on Wednesday that the ag sector can expect to come under increasing scrutiny over greenhouse gas emissions, despite the Albanese government indicating it would not be subject to binding targets.

The event, which attracts institutional investors and producers, will focus on "accelerating the change".

"I want everyone going away with one new thing they can do when they get home," said Stuart Austin, who heads up the Wilmot company and helps organise the field days.

Mr Austin said the event was about enabling farmers to shift from conventional agriculture to a different way of thinking about agriculture and natural capital.

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