Sustainable intensification project management activities must include two nominated management actions in each CEA (Section 25). You can carry out more than two management actions, but you only need to nominate two to gain ACCUs. In addition, you cannot remove stubble from a CEA that is under cropping before you start a sustainable intensification project management activity (Section 26). To further help increase soil carbon, all crop residues must remain in the CEA.
For projects undertaking sustainable intensification, a qualified person will need to prepare a management strategy for each management action (except irrigation) before you start your project. Nutrient management strategies are outlined in Sections 27–30, soil acidity management strategies in Sections 31–33, and pasture renovation strategies in Sections 36–38.
Pasture renovation management actions include sowing high-productivity grass species to establish new pasture (Sections 36–38). Natural regeneration from tilled land is not likely to build soil carbon, and so it is not considered. Before the project starts, a management strategy must advise on the species to be used and other activities that can reasonably expect to re-establish pasture in the CEA. The plan needs to show, for example, how you will re-establish 70% ground cover within 12 months, conduct pasture maintenance and review schedules.
New irrigation project management activities cover an area that has not been irrigated for the entire five years of the baseline period (Section 20). The project activities must source water from new in-stream allocations or from on-farm improvements, and must not be paid for partly or in full by any level of government (Sections 34–35).
There is a risk that water from in-stream allocations can inadvertently (though not deliberately) be diverted from another irrigator. This means that new irrigation projects can decrease the productivity of another farm. Therefore, the amount of carbon stored by any new irrigation project management activity that includes water sourced from in-stream allocations is discounted by 50%.
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