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How to work through the Quick Start Carbon Calculator

The Quick Start Carbon Calculator contains boxes to enter your farm data. Some of these will have drop down lists. Others will simply require a number that accurately describes the characteristic of your property. Please pay attention to the measurement units for each piece of data entered. All units in this module use the metric system, for example, area is measured in hectares, not acres.

If you have multiple and geographically diverse properties, it will be more accurate if you treat each property separately. 

If you need more information about the data input, just hover over the box, or the question mark next to the box, and there will be some tips to help you with data entry. 

Livestock information

In the Quick Start Carbon Calculator, you will only need to enter your average livestock numbers on the farm for the year, for both sheep and cattle. The Quick Start Carbon Calculator will then calculate an average distribution of different stock classes (e.g. steers, cows, wethers, ewes) for your area to calculate emissions.

For a more accurate output, you can manipulate the bar graphs that the Quick Start Carbon Calculator generates for stock classes, or you can leave it as is.

Once you have entered all your livestock data, the Quick Start Carbon Calculator will be able to estimate greenhouse gas emissions from your livestock operation.

Vegetation information

When adding pasture information, select the dominant species or one that closely matches the growth pattern of your pasture. Good, standard and poor years refer to the level of pasture growth, which is closely related to rainfall.

When adding area under trees, for indicative purposes, if the dominant species for your farm are not included, choose a species that will closely resemble your species or use the mixed species selection. Calculating the area under trees may be difficult for your farm, add areas that have at least 20% crown cover, where trees are at least 2 metres high and the area is at least 0.2 hectares. For this quick start calculator, knowing the age of trees is not necessary.

Other emissions

The simple Quick Start Carbon Calculator used in this module estimates other emissions to be 10% of total annual livestock emissions. Other emissions may include emissions generated from fertiliser or crop protection chemicals, electricity use, fuel, burning vegetation or other emissions generated in the supply chain “upstream” from your enterprise.

These figures are typical of an Australian livestock business. The majority of emissions will be from livestock, so the estimate you will see will be the emissions from your livestock, plus ten percent to take into account the above factors.