If you answered yes to the questions above, the beef nitrates method
may be suitable for your business.
Projects using the feeding nitrates to beef cattle method reduce greenhouse gas emissions from pasture-fed beef cattle by substituting urea supplements with a nitrate supplement in the form of lick blocks.
Urea is often used to increase the amount of protein in the diet of pasture-fed beef cattle. It also makes pasture easier for the cattle to digest, so they tend to eat more of it, which in turn means they produce more methane. When some or all of the urea is replaced by nitrate supplements, cattle produce less methane.
The methane emissions avoided by feeding the herd nitrates instead of urea are calculated using the
Carbon Farming Initiative Beef Nitrates Calculator, which is published by the
Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water (DCCEEW). You may be able to earn Australian carbon credit units (ACCUs) for the amount of methane emissions you avoid by feeding your cattle nitrate supplements instead of urea.
Users of this method should be aware that it is important to feed nitrates and urea at safe levels, because overfeeding can cause toxicity and even death. Even feeding nitrates at or below the recommended levels has potential side effects, such as lower levels of reproductive efficiency and weight gain.
To reduce these risks, you must introduce the lick blocks at a lower concentration for the first two weeks of each feeding period and ensure nitrates are supplied to cattle as lick blocks with a specified sulfur to nitrate ratio. Sulfur is included in the lick blocks to reduce the risk of toxicity. The method and explanatory statement provide more information on the process of feeding nitrate supplements to reduce this risk.
Variations to methods are developed for a range of reasons including:
Methods being varied or methods under review are published on the
Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water (DCCEEW) website.
method variations page provides additional information about how a method variation might affect an existing project.
You must read and understand the method and other legislative requirements to conduct a feeding nitrates to beef cattle project and earn Australian Carbon Credit Units (ACCUs). This includes:
The quick reference guide provides basic information about eligibility criteria and obligations that must be met to earn ACCUs from a feeding nitrates to beef cattle project. It includes links to the legislation, but should not be viewed as an alternative to reading the full legislative requirements.
Seven years – The crediting period is the period of time a project can apply to claim Australian carbon credit units (ACCUs).
Relevant section of the Act:
There are general eligibility requirements in the Act, which include:
In addition, a project must be located within Australia, including external territories. The project area must have been used to feed urea supplements to pasture-fed beef cattle at least once in the five years before the project begins.
Relevant section of the Method:
A project involves fully or partially replacing urea supplements with nitrate supplements in pasture-fed beef cattle. This reduces the amount of methane emissions that the cattle produce.
The nitrate is supplied to the herd as a lick block with a specified sulfur-to-nitrate ratio (sulfur is included to reduce the risk of toxicity). Lick blocks are made available to the herd over a specified time called a feeding period or nitrate supplementation period. A feeding period must occur over consecutive days, but a project has no restrictions on the number or frequency of feeding periods.
The amount of lick blocks you supply the herd is called the opening stock. At the end of the feeding period, you remove, count and weigh all uneaten or partially consumed lick blocks. This is called the closing stock.
Note that a project is only suitable if the proposed land has sufficient pasture to meet the herds' required daily mass intake. You also need to take into account the levels of protein available from the pasture, because supplements will only reduce emissions and benefit livestock health when the protein levels of the pasture are too low. If your herd's protein requirements are already being met by your pasture, supplementing with nitrates will not provide any further production benefit.
You can use a tool called the
Beef Nitrates Calculator to check whether a project is feasible for your situation. The calculator also helps you work out many of the factors you need to know to run a project, including:
Feedlot beef cattle are excluded from these projects. The dung and urine of feedlot cattle produce significantly more nitrous oxide than that of pasture-grazed cattle, and it is therefore highly unlikely that feeding nitrate supplements to feedlot cattle would reduce emissions.
In addition, land that has never been used for feeding urea to cattle is excluded, even if the herd has previously been fed urea on a different area of the property.
Relevant section of the Explanatory Statement:
The amount of abatement resulting from a project is calculated using the
Beef Nitrates Calculator. It does this by subtracting the project's actual emissions from the baseline emissions that would have occurred if you did not feed nitrates to the herd.
The calculator automatically establishes your baseline emissions and estimates the net abatement amount for each feeding period in each area for each reporting period based on data that you enter. This includes information on:
Click for further information about
calculating emissions and abatement.
In addition to the reporting requirements of the Act and the Rule, Section 5.11 of the method requires that offset reports must contain:
Relevant section of the Rule:
In addition to the general monitoring requirements of the Act, Division 5.2 of the method sets out specific monitoring requirements. You must monitor the:
In addition to the record-keeping requirements of the Act and the Rule, Division 5.3 of the method describes specific record-keeping requirements. These include keeping records of:
All projects receive an audit schedule when the project is declared and must provide audit reports according to this schedule. A minimum of three audits will be scheduled and additional audits may be triggered. For more information on the audit requirements, see the Act, the Rule and the
audit information on The Clean Energy Regulator website.
It is important to feed nitrates and urea at safe levels, because overfeeding can cause toxicity and even death. We recommend that you seek independent advice for your situation before implementing a project.
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