Policy makers are being confronted with challenges that could have knock-on effects on the profit of agricultural businesses and land use change. One well-known challenge is climate change. Australia intends to reduce GHG emissions by up to 23% (compared to business as usual) by 2020 and 80% by 2050. The reduction will be achieved through a Clean Energy Future plan which includes a carbon price mechanism initially set at $23 per tonne CO2-e. Agricultural businesses are consumers of energy/GHG emissions intensive inputs such as fuel, electricity and fertilisers. If the producers of these inputs are affected by a carbon tax, the costs will be passed down to consumers. What would the indirect impacts of the carbon tax be on regional/national profits from agriculture and what effect would they have on land use change? How would a carbon tax applied on agriculture affect profit and land use? 

One of the aims of this project is to produce a system that can reproduce maps of inputs and outputs of agricultural systems covering all ABARES’ commodity groups for the whole country at a 1.1km2 resolution. Inputs include fertiliser and pesticide types and amounts, fuel use and cost. Outputs include revenues, yields, GHG emissions and energy use. 

Another aim of this project is to explore the implications of such a model for food security research. The intention is to analyse long term food production in Australia using historical data at a high spatial resolution (including imports/exports). Possible questions to answer include: What dietary scenarios could supply the nutritional needs of a large population (e.g. from strict vegetarian to primarily meat eating)? What is the impact associated with those scenarios (e.g. GHG emissions)? How can nutrition and profit be optimised for environmental impact?

Funding: APA Scholarship

Advisors: Dr Anthony Halog; Dr Brett Bryan

Project members

Javi Navarro

Javi Navarro

PhD Graduate