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Action on the Ground
Action on the Ground
Action on the Ground is an ongoing component of the Carbon Farming Futures Program which is currently providing grant funding to farmers and land managers over the six years to June 2017.
Action on the Ground assists farmers and land managers to undertake on-farm trials of abatement technologies, practices and management strategies to measure and demonstrate how these can reduce agricultural greenhouse gas emissions of methane and nitrous oxide or increase the sequestration of carbon in soil while maintaining farm productivity.
Thirty multi-year grants worth up to $19.09 million have received funding under round two of the Action on the Ground program.
The successful round two projects will trial a diverse range of on-farm practices and management strategies, on more than 130 properties across the country, to reduce agricultural emissions of methane and nitrous oxide, and/or increase sequestration of soil carbon.
Successful round two Action on the Ground projects (all figures are GST exclusive)
Nitrogen management to mitigate nitrous oxide emissions in sugarcane—a high input industry — New South Wales Farming Systems Group Incorporated
Funding up to: $737,904
This project will trial new nitrogen fertiliser application technologies, including high pressure nitrogen injection and slow-release nitrogen, to measure and demonstrate their potential for reducing nitrous oxide emissions in the NSW sugarcane industry.
Determining optimum nitrogen strategies for abatement of emissions for different irrigated cotton systems — Cotton Research and Development Corporation
Funding up to: $769,535
This project will trial and demonstrate nitrogen fertiliser management strategies—including variable rate fertiliser applications, rotational cropping with legumes and matching fertiliser rates to crop demands—to reduce nitrous oxide emissions from irrigated cotton systems in central Queensland and north west NSW.
Reduction of methane emissions by including pasture intake in breeding and selection programs — University of New England
Funding up to: $638,948
This project will trial and demonstrate a practical system for estimating beef cattle pasture intake and feed efficiency (or ‘residual feed intake’—a genetic trait with potential for reducing methane emissions). Pasture intake will be included in an index to select retained stud heifers, and their methane emissions compared to unselected heifers, and those selected with standard breed plan indexes.
Management strategies for improved productivity and reduced nitrous oxide emissions — Foundation for Arable Research Australia Limited
Funding up to: $775,000
This project will trial and demonstrate strategies for optimising nitrogen use efficiency and reducing nitrous oxide emissions in broadacre cropping systems in South Australia, Victoria and NSW, through the use of precision farming tools, nitrification inhibitors and legumes in crop rotations.
Transitioning to resilient perennial pasture systems to abate greenhouse gases and sequester carbon — Ternes Agricultural Consulting Pty Ltd
Funding up to: $775,000
This project will trial and demonstrate the use of perennial legumes and forage shrubs in sheep production systems in southeast Victoria to reduce methane emissions and to increase the sequestration of carbon in soil.
Reducing nitrous oxide emissions in sub-tropical plantation crops using inter-row legumes — Southern Cross University
Funding up to: $476,204
This project will trial and demonstrate the use of inter-row legume crops as a nitrogen fertiliser alternative in three subtropical production systems—avocado, tea tree and coffee—to reduce nitrous oxide emissions from soils.
Managing fallow cover crops to improve soil fertility and reduce greenhouse gas emissions — Western Australian No-Tillage Farmers Association (Inc)
Funding up to: $615,000
This project will trial and demonstrate the use of short duration summer cover crops (including tropical legumes and C4 grasses) to reduce nitrous oxide emissions in Western Australian wheat production systems.
The fruit salad project: soil amendments in fertigated melons, blueberries and banana production — Australian Melon Association Inc.
Funding up to: $703,459
This project will trial and demonstrate the use of soil amendments, including biochar and compost, to reduce nitrous oxide emissions and sequester carbon in soil on commercial melon, banana and blueberry farms in northern NSW and southern Queensland.
Reducing methane emissions from improved forage quality on mixed farms — Eyre Peninsula Agricultural Research Foundation Inc
Funding up to: $664,402
This project aims to reduce methane emissions from sheep by trialling and demonstrating the use of alternative pasture and forage crops to improve feed quality in late spring, autumn and early winter in southern Australian livestock production systems.
Methane reduction from beef cattle in southern Australia — University of Adelaide
Funding up to: $773,500
This project is trialling methane-inhibiting feed supplements, including grape marc, lucerne by-products and canola oil, during times of feed shortage and low feed digestibility to reduce methane emissions from beef cattle in southern Australia. The project will also demonstrate the relationship between feed quality, methane emissions and growth performance of calves.
Evaluating soil carbon sequestration from sub-soil amelioration trials — Southern Farming Systems
Funding up to: $282,000
This project is trialling and demonstrating the sub-surface placement of manures at various depths to increase soil carbon sequestration and enhance crop productivity in southern Australia.
Nitrogen fertiliser management strategies for emerging plant industries in northern Australia — Northern Territory Farmers Association Incorporated
Funding up to: $771,578
This project will trial and demonstrate a range of nitrogen fertiliser management practices, including the use of enhanced efficiency fertilisers, to reduce nitrous oxide emissions from sugarcane, irrigated fodder, mango and banana crops in the Ord River region of Western Australia.
Short retention time effluent management — DairyTas Board Incorporated
Funding up to: $632,000
This project is trialling and demonstrating alternative dairy effluent management strategies, based around reduced effluent retention times, to reduce methane emissions from dairy production systems in southern Australia.
Reducing nitrous oxide emissions from intensive crop production in the Ord River Irrigation Area — Living Farm Pty Ltd
Funding up to: $258,600
This project is trialling and demonstrating improved irrigation management practices and nitrification inhibitors to reduce nitrous oxide emissions from commercial horticultural production systems in Western Australia’s Ord River region.
Croppers in the Burnett trial soil amendments and pulse rotations to reduce nitrous oxide emissions — Burnett Mary Regional Group for Natural resource Management
Funding up to: $772,290
This project is trialling the use of legume crop rotations and composts to reduce nitrous oxide emissions and increase productivity on degraded cropping lands in Queensland’s western Burnett region.
Nitrous oxide emissions reductions from controlled traffic farming — Australian Controlled Traffic Farming Association
Funding up to: $733,307
This project is trialling and demonstrating controlled field traffic practices that can reduce nitrous oxide emissions from commercial grain production systems in southern Queensland and western Victoria.
Building soil carbon in cropping systems and impact on greenhouse gas emissions using cattle feedlot compost — Western Australia Lot Feeders Association Inc
Funding up to: $649,022
This project is trialling and demonstrating the application of composted feedlot manure, as an alternative to synthetic nitrogen fertilisers, to reduce nitrous oxide emissions and increase the sequestration of soil carbon in commercial cropping and pasture enterprises in southern Western Australia.
Reducing on-farm nitrous oxide emissions through improved nitrogen use efficiency in grains — North Central Catchment Management Authority
Funding up to: $754,000
This project is trialling and demonstrating strategies that will improve nitrogen fertiliser decision support tools for Victorian irrigated cropping systems, enabling fertiliser applications to be better tailored to crop needs and reducing nitrous oxide emissions.
Validation of greenhouse gas reduction methods in tropical perennial cropping systems across Queensland, Northern Territory and Western Australia — Northern Gulf Resource Management Group Ltd
Funding up to: $771,200
This project is trialling and demonstrating farm practices, including the use of precision agriculture, ground covers and nitrification inhibitors, to reduce nitrous oxide emissions and increase soil carbon in banana and mango cropping systems in north Queensland, the Northern Territory and Western Australia.
Increasing soil carbon stocks on lighter soils in the northern Wimmera — Wimmera Catchment Authority
Funding up to: $271,381
This project is trialling and demonstrating practices, including the use of organic amendments and claying modifications, to increase soil carbon sequestration on grazing/cropping properties in Victoria’s northern Wimmera region.
Using nitrification inhibitors to mitigate emissions of greenhouse gases in sub-tropical horticulture — Queensland Fruit & Vegetable Growers Ltd
Funding up to: $639,639
This project is trialling and demonstrating the use of nitrification inhibitors to reduce nitrous oxide emissions from a range of horticulture production systems in southern Queensland and southern Victoria.
Improving subsoil constraints through innovative amelioration to sequester carbon on Eyre Peninsula — Eyre Peninsula Natural Resources Management Board
Funding up to: $746,030
This project is trialling and demonstrating a range of soil modification practices to increase soil carbon sequestration, including the sub-surface incorporation of gypsum, lime, clay and organic matter, on the Eyre Peninsula in South Australia.
Improving the growth rate of backgrounding cattle by controlled supplementary feeding — Feedlot Services Australia Pty Ltd
Funding up to: $555,148
This project is trialling the use of grain/cottonseed supplements for pasture-reared cattle, prior to feedlot entry, to reduce methane emissions by increasing growth rates and reducing the time for animals to reach market weight.
Reducing nitrous oxide emissions from Western Australian grain cropping by matching fertiliser inputs to yield potential — Precision Agronomics Australia Pty Ltd
Funding up to: $208,420
This project is trialling and demonstrating the use of precision agriculture technology (including the use of yield prediction modelling) to reduce nitrous oxide emissions by better matching nitrogen fertiliser requirements to crop demands, in Western Australia’s wheatbelt.
Using grape marc as a feed additive in commercial settings — The Australian Wine Research Institute
Funding up to: $640,000
This project is trialling and demonstrating the use of grape marc feed additives, produced under a range of processing and storage conditions, to reduce methane emissions from livestock.
Managing dairy cow spatial movements to reduce nitrous oxide emissions by uniformly distributing nitrogen in paddocks — Queensland University of Technology
Funding up to: $766,946
This project is trialling and demonstrating cattle management practices that encourage excreta deposition on pastures, rather than on non-productive areas such as laneways, riparian zones and cattle camps, to reduce nitrous oxide emissions and increase pasture yields.
Are nitrification inhibitors an economical choice to reduce nitrous oxide emissions under real farm scenarios? — Murray Goulburn Co-Operative Co. Limited
Funding up to: $769,261
This project is trialling and demonstrating the use of nitrification inhibitors to reduce on-farm nitrous oxide emissions, and to determine if application costs are balanced by yield increases across two different farming systems (dairy pasture, broadacre cropping) in northeast Victoria.
Developing sugar cane-legume companion cropping systems to minimise nitrous oxide emissions — University of Queensland
Funding up to: $689,300
This project is trialling and demonstrating the use of legumes as a companion crop to sugarcane, to partially replace synthetic nitrogen fertiliser requirements and reduce nitrous oxide emissions in Queensland sugarcane production systems.
Capitalising on perennial forages suited to the Western Australian south coast to reduce methane emissions intensity — South Coast Natural Resource Management Inc
Funding up to: $556,648
This project will trial and demonstrate a variety of perennial grazing systems, in southern Western Australia, that can reduce livestock methane emissions by increasing animal growth rates and reducing the time for animals to reach market weight.
Rice stubble, fertiliser and water management options to reduce nitrous oxide emissions and build soil carbon — Ricegrowers Association of Australia
Funding up to: $697,514
This project will trial and demonstrate management practices, including alternative irrigation and stubble management strategies, to reduce nitrous oxide and methane emissions in temperate rice production systems. Nitrification inhibitors will also be trialled in subtropical rice systems to assess their potential to reduce nitrous oxide emissions.
Round Two documentation
Under round two, individual grants up to $775 000 (GST Exclusive) are available for farmers, land managers, farming groups, researchers, industry sectors and non-government organisations to undertake projects that address at least one of the program’s three key priorities:
- reduced methane emissions from livestock production systems
- reduced nitrous oxide emissions
- increased carbon sequestration in soils
All round two Action on the Ground projects are required to carefully measure emissions abatement and/or soil carbon, using standard procedures.
The department has published the ‘Guidance for on-farm measurement of agricultural greenhouse gas emissions and soil carbon’ to assist grantees in developing appropriate sampling practices and measurement regimes.
- ‘Guidance for on-farm measurement of agricultural greenhouse gas emissions and soil carbon’ PDF [1.8 MB]
‘Guidance for on-farm measurement of agricultural greenhouse gas emissions and soil carbon’ Word [1.6 MB]
Action on the Ground webinar
On Friday 19 April 2013, the department held a web-based information session for prospective applicants. The webinar discussed the aims of Action on the Ground and the application and assessment process for round two. A recording and transcript of the webinar are available.
The round two Frequently Asked Questions document includes the questions that were asked during the webinar. If you have further queries, please email project staff or call the Action on the Ground hotline: 1800 025 005.
Under round one, the program invested $25.2 million in 59 multi-year projects (to June 2015) involving more than 400 farmers and land managers.
- Grants help farmers take climate action - 8 April 2013
- Agriculture shares $70 million in research grants - 17 May 2012
- Landholders take Action on the Ground – 29 November 2011
For more information, please call the Action on the Ground hotline on 1800 025 005 or email the Action on the Ground team.
Action on the Ground is administered by the Australian Government Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry. To find out more about the other programs administered by the department under the Carbon Farming Futures program, please follow the links below:
09 Sep 2013