Meat & Livestock News

Making Carbon Farming More Accessible

Many landowners are not capitalising on potential earnings from carbon credits due to the complexities of transitioning into carbon farming. To address this, Nelson-based company CarbonCrop, co-founded by Nick Butcher, has developed a solution to simplify the process. 

Butcher highlighted that a significant challenge was enhancing farmers’ comprehension of the intricacies of carbon farming and the subsequent management of their responsibilities.

Originating from discussions at the Nelson Artificial Intelligence Institute in 2020, CarbonCrop utilised AI and satellite imagery to pinpoint forests eligible for carbon credits. Their advanced system can detect eligible growth even in challenging native forests, ensuring compliance with the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) regulations.

Beyond just identification, CarbonCrop offers a comprehensive software package designed to streamline carbon farming. This package aims to provide a user-friendly experience for landholders, enabling them to make informed decisions regarding their land. Butcher emphasised that the primary objective was to simplify the decision-making process for potential carbon farmers, eliminating barriers related to complexity or cost.

CarbonCrop estimates that approximately 150,000 hectares of eligible native forest remain unregistered in the ETS, equating to a potential $90 million annually in untapped carbon credits. To date, the company has already facilitated $25 million in payouts under the ETS to over 300 landowners.

In a strategic partnership, CarbonCrop collaborates with US-based company Planet, which operates the world’s most extensive collection of earth observation satellites. This collaboration offers near real-time forest monitoring, eliminating the need for inconsistent image quality and satellite ownership.

Targeting primarily farmers, as foresters are generally well-versed in carbon credit requirements, CarbonCrop is on a mission to simplify the process for landowners to monetise the protection and restoration of forests. 

This initiative boosts farm economics, reduces atmospheric carbon, enhances climate resilience, and promotes biodiversity.

Recently, CarbonCrop showcased its offerings at the Carbon Forestry Conference in Rotorua, receiving significant interest from attendees.