The Australian Government will support trials of new livestock feed technologies that may increase productivity while reducing emissions from cattle and sheep.
The Methane Emissions Reduction in Livestock (MERiL) grants program will provide grants of between $500,000 and $1.5 million to engage producers to assess the productivity and emissions benefits these technologies may deliver in the real world.
Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction Angus Taylor said the Government wanted to see the agriculture industry achieve its goal of growing to $100 billion by 2030.
“Our approach to emissions reduction is technology not taxes,” Minister Taylor said.
“If we can get new technologies to cost parity – or ideally, even cheaper than existing approaches – we can reduce emissions without imposing new costs on households, businesses or the economy.
“There is evidence that new feed technologies can increase productivity and reduce emissions.
“But more work is needed to quantify those benefits and find ways to deliver those feed technologies to animals at low cost and in a way that makes sense for the way farmers currently manage their herds.”
Emissions from livestock are the largest source of greenhouse gas in the agriculture sector and make up around 10 per cent of Australia’s total annual emissions.
The MERiL program is part of the $95.4 million King Review Technology Co-Investment Fund. Future deployment of new feed technologies could be supported under the Government’s Emissions Reduction Fund, which has already committed $2 billion to projects in regional and rural areas.
The Australian Government is also investing $157 million into improving soil health, with support for farmers to increase soil testing and $37 million in the 2021-22 Budget for a National Soil Carbon Innovation Challenge to reduce the costs of measurement technologies.
The $6 million MERiL grants program opens on Monday, 24 May 2021 and more information on how to apply will be available at https://business.gov.au/
Source: Australian Government