Earning Income from Carbon Farming

8 May 2012

Earning Income from Carbon FarmingBy Noel McArdle

As a Landowner, would you like to know how to earn income from Carbon Farming?

A landowner can earn income from the planting of native trees utilising the fact that trees sequester carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere.  This known as carbon sequestration.  At a price of $23 per tonne of carbon, the initial Australian launch price in July 2012, this can amount to a useful lucrative, and potentially significant, secondary income source.



Nonetheless, ‘Carbon Farming’, whilst it is potentially a real source of long term future income, it is not a ‘get rich quick’ scheme.  Carbon farming will not replace income from agricultural uses on those properties, or parts of your land, which can be used for viable cropping or grazing purposes.  It might be best described as representing a steady long term source of income for your Superannuation fund, or to reduce farm debt.  In effect, growing carbon provides the landowner with a new and diversified “off-farm” source of income because Landowners have an equitable share in the income flow from selling tree-based carbon offsets to emitters.    Contact Us  if you would like us to show you how much your farm might generate in Carbon Credits.

Are there the other Economic or Financial  Benefits to the Landowner from Growing Tree?

Aside from the potential to earn income from Carbon Credits, trees can also rehabilitate any marginal land that you may have on your property and provide the associated economic farming benefits such as:

  • Trees lower the water table – which in turn can assist problems such as salinity and water logging.
  • Trees provide wind breaks for live stock and new born lambs by breaking up wind gusts and reducing wind speed.  This means that livestock use less of their feed in keeping warm and more on growing meat.
  • Trees assist with soil erosion problems.
  • Forests have their own microclimate, a fact that many farmers have noted.  Observational data points to an improvement in the growth of grasses and crops near the tree belts as well as improved moisture retention in the soil.

What Type of Land is Suitable for Carbon Farming?

ECO believes that the best opportunity for ‘Carbon Farming’ is on areas of land within your property which are already marginal, or becoming marginal, in their productive capability when compared to the cost of the farming inputs required to produce a crop.  In other words, we can help turn your unproductive land into an income-generating asset.

How does ECO convert the new Plantation of Trees on your Farm into valuable Carbon Offsets?

For more information on the concept of ‘Earning Money from Planting Trees’, Click Here

ECO does all of the work in ensuring that the relevant sections of your land can be planted in a Kyoto compliant manner and assists in the development of a land management plan for the area to be planted for native vegetation.  We measure the carbon sequestration of your land in your particular rainfall and climatic zone.  We legally register the carbon with the Lands Titles Office under the Forest Property Act.  We also maintain a carbon asset register for audit purposes.

ECO contacts businesses that are carbon emitters.  ECO are Carbon Consultants.  We work with such businesses to help them reduce their carbon footprint and we arrange for them to purchase carbon offsets.  ECO sells the carbon sequestered by your trees to businesses that wish to offset their carbon emissions and become carbon neutral.  We negotiate legal contracts with such firms including quantity and pricing.  This is known as Carbon Trading.

ECO ensures that the carbon registered on your land always remains a separate property right and independent from the property right you own on your land itself.  This enables the carbon grown on your land to be sold to emitters without in any way affecting your own land property rights.  Since it is a separate property right, it would be possible for you to sell your land but for you to still retain ownership of the carbon on your property.  This may provide interesting Superannuation income.

What Does The Landowner Have To Do?

There are certain standards with which ‘carbon farming’ landowners and farmers will have to comply.  Some of these are legal requirements.  Some reflect our own philosophies – see ‘Who Are ECO?’.  Therefore carbon farming is not for everyone.

For instance:

  • ECO work with landowners and farmers to plant trees and forests that meet Kyoto compliant standards of article 3.3 of the Kyoto Protocol for reafforestation.
  • You will need to enter into an Agreement, known as the Forest Property Agreement (FPA) with ECO to protect and not cut down those trees, which you have grown, for a period of 100 years.  This agreement is registered with the Lands Titles Office and applies to all subsequent owners of the property.
  • The existence of an FPA forms an important part of the comprehensive package of documents provided to a business when they purchase ‘Tree Based’ carbon credits to offset their emissions.
  • ECO do not favour monoculture – rather we support a bio-diverse native tree plantation.  Not only does this mirror growth in the natural environment but it also allows existing pockets of remnant vegetation to be linked so as to form wildlife-corridors.
  • All native seed must have a local provenance and be collected from within a five kilometre distance of the property.

Carbon FarmingIf you want to learn more as to how you can become an ‘ECO’ carbon farmer then click on the Contact Us button on this page.


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