Tasmanian Cattle Feed Investment to Cut Emissions

Tasmanian farmers are helping the state reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by more than 16,000 tonnes, and the Tasmanian government is investing A$4 million in its agricultural sector to cut emissions from livestock.

Minister for Parks and Environment, Nick Duigan, said TasFarmers is the successful applicant of the Low Emissions Livestock Grant Program, together with Tasmanian business Sea Forest.

“This large-scale trial will demonstrate commercial-scale viability of Asparagopsis feed supplements, that have already demonstrated success in reducing emissions from livestock,” Duigan said.

“Livestock is a significant contributor to Tasmania’s greenhouse gas emissions, even greater than the emissions from our entire transport sector.”

“The TasFarmers proposal will use Sea Forest’s Asparagopsis SeaFeed as a feed additive to some 24,000 head of livestock, across both dairy and beef, to reduce an estimated 16,350 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent over the next three years, equal to taking 7000 cars off the road in Tasmania.”

Duigan said to maximise the potential for success, TasFarmers has also partnered with some of Tasmania’s largest dairy and beef producers, as well as the Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture who will lead project evaluation.

“It really feels like all hands are on deck to pull together and realise the commercial potential of this Tasmanian product,” Minister Duigan said.

“We know that it can make a real impact on reducing livestock emissions. This is just one more way we can reduce emissions to ensure we continue to meet our target of net zero emissions, or lower, from 2030.”

“Importantly, this investment required a financial co-contribution from the successful applicant, TasFarmers, demonstrating that both parties are making a genuine commitment to the program’s success.”

“This is a true success story of Tasmanian ingenuity partnering with government to reduce emissions and better the future of our planet,” he said.

Jack Holden, General Manager Sustainability Global Markets, Fonterra said: “Fonterra is pleased to be part of this project, enabling us expand our Asparagopsis red seaweed trial beyond the first 1,000 dairy cows in the 2024/25 milk season,”

“Tasmania’s pasture-based farming system makes it an ideal location to undertake this trial. We thank the Tasmanian Government for its commitment to climate action and for building the capability of the Tasmania agriculture sector to be a leader in this challenge.”

“We also want to acknowledge the work undertaken by Richard Gardner and his family at Annandale. Annandale is the first commercial dairy farm to undertake a trial at scale, and without Richard’s commitment to improving dairy farming’s emissions footprint, we would not be here today to launch this next stage,” added Holden.