Sustainable farming - Elders Portal

Sustainable farming

With our global population expected to grow to 9.7 billion people by 20501 and increasing pressure to minimise the environmental impacts of agriculture and improve the climate-related resilience of Australian food production, Elders has an opportunity to tailor its product and service offering to better support farmer productivity and efficiency.


Soil health

Healthy soil influences environmental health by improving water quality and protecting biodiversity. It is also imperative to supporting agricultural production, the efficient use of agricultural inputs and the sequestration of carbon from the Earth’s atmosphere.

No-till farming is understood to optimise soil health, and the proportion of Australian grain growers using no-till farming is high2, however, further development, innovation and soil monitoring will be vital to sustain production and take action against climate change.

Elders’ network of agronomists (including Thomas Elder Consultants) support more than 6,000 clients across Australia in managing the productivity of their farms, providing advice on crop rotation, pest and disease management and soil health, facilitating up to 13, 000 soil tests every year.

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Carbon farming

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Elders also provides technical advisory services to clients who are aiming to reduce their carbon footprint and sequester carbon in their soil.

In July this year, Elders launched its carbon farming advisory service offering following pilot services offered in 2020.

This service supports clients with climate change adaptation and mitigation by assisting them to participate in the Australian Government’s Carbon Farming Initiative.

Water availability

The Australian climate has always involved an element of volatility and hot, dry summers, but climate change is projected to increase the frequency and intensity of extreme heat and periods of drought.

With water availability already an issue faced by many farmers, finding opportunities to improve water use efficiency and ensuring the sustainability of shared water sources is directly linked to the sustainability of the agriculture industry.

Elders recognises that the availability of water can have a significant impact on its operations and performance in the following ways:

  • directly: Killara Feedlot requires water for its paddocks, animals and facilities. Our branches and warehouses also require access to water in much smaller quantities for cleaning and drinking
  • indirectly: Water availability impacts the productivity of Elders’ grower customers, which in turn increases the variability of Elders’ sales of agricultural inputs.

While Elders itself is not an intensive consumer of water across its operations, we recognize the importance of understanding our own water consumption and managing use and discharge, particularly at our Killara Feedlot. Killara obtains water for use at the feedlot and surrounding paddocks from rainfall, run-off and groundwater. More information on how Killara Feedlot manages its water use is found on page 48 of our Sustainability Report.

 

Elders Water Trading

Through Elders Water Trading, our water brokers assist clients in buying, selling and leasing water entitlements and allocations, supporting them in the development of strategies to ensure the security of their irrigation practices.

Our water brokers have expertise in a number of different Australian water trading schemes and regions and assist customers in sourcing and selling water as permitted by the rules of their relevant water authority and water licence.

Different authorities in each state regulate the trade and usage of water through State-based legislation. Speak to one of our water brokers to see how they can help you.

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For more information download our full sustainability report.

Download sustainability report
References
1. United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, 2019, Growing at a slower pace, world population is expected to reach 9.7 billion in 2050 and could peak at nearly 11 billion around 2100, United Nations, viewed 2 November 2021.
2. Llewellyn R, D’Emden F, 2010, ‘Adoption of No-tillage Cropping Practices in Australian Grain Growing Regions’, Grains Research and Development Corporation, viewed 2 November 2021.