Announcement, Media Release
06/02/2020

Producers encouraged to attend Climate and Carbon in Agriculture 2020

The Climate and Carbon in Agriculture 2020 Conference will tackle some of the big issues facing Australian agriculture in adapting to our changing climate and strategies to reduce the carbon footprint of the sector.

Registrations are underway for the national event, hosted by the Climate Research Strategy for Primary Industries (CRSPI), to be held at the Adelaide Convention Centre on 31 March to 1 April 2020.

In light of the recent bushfire crisis, combined with ongoing drought conditions, CRSPI has moved to reduce registration costs for primary producers wishing to attend the conference.

The current conditions have further emphasised the importance of innovation to assist our agricultural sector adapt to climate change and to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. CRSPI hopes producers will take advantage of the reduced registration cost to arm themselves with knowledge, resilience and new networks that can be used to build resilient businesses for the long term.

The two-day conference features high profile speakers, including producers who have been innovating on farm to increase business resilience, manage climate risk and reduce emissions. One such producer is Andrew Gill and family, who operate a property south west of Narromine NSW. The fifth generation farmer runs a successful mixed farming operation that includes cotton, various winter crops, fat lambs and beef cattle.

But it’s Andrew’s innovative technique for water pumping that is of so much interest for other producers. In 2015, he started investigating different options to fuel their deep well turbine pumps and came up with a revolutionary off-grid solar diesel hybrid system. At the time, the 400 panel, 100Kw system was reported to be one of the first and largest of its kind in the world.

“The economics of our pump system stack up and the benefits are two-fold: for the farm and for the environment,” Andrew said.

He believes that standing still simply isn’t an option and that producers need to attend conferences like these in order to be prepared for what’s to come. “These challenges are going to come faster in the future and we need to be ready to adapt to them faster. We need to know what the next step is and where we go from here.”

It’s a sentiment echoed by another speaker, Barry Mudge, who has taken a background in agriculture and economics, and turned it into an opportunity to focus on risk management within highly variable low rainfall farming systems.

Now the owner of a consulting firm and a family property, Barry has played a key role in identifying opportunities to improve water use efficiency and build capacity in low rainfall systems across the southern grain belts. Throughout his career, he has seen the value of bringing people together to consider risk management, change and adaptation.

“It’s important that we build on what we’ve done in the past to ensure we have a sustainable future. Our environment is different to what it was 30 years ago, we can see that in the landscape, and we have to keep changing and adapting with it.”

Continuing on the economic theme will be Hugh Killen and his 25 years’ of experience in global financial markets. Hugh is the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Agricultural Company and has also served as a board member of the Association for Financial Markets Global Foreign Exchange Division and the Reserve Bank of Australia’s (RBA) Australian Foreign Exchange Committee.

Combined with a lifelong association with agriculture, on-farm and in private farming investments, Hugh understands the importance of keeping pace with a changing industry.

Hugh will be joined by other keynote speakers including Dr Richard Denniss, Chief Economist and former Executive Director of The Australia Institute; Professor Mark Howden, Director of the Climate Change Institute at the Australian National University and a Vice Chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC); and Charlotte Turner, Associate at Minter Ellison.

Producers are encouraged to register, and share the opportunity to attend this leading conference at a discounted rate with their fellow producers and farm businesses.

Registration information and a preliminary conference program are available on the CRSPI website at www.crspi.com.au

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