University of Tasmania

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NEXUS Involve & Partner: impacts of biochar supplementation on livestock productivity, profitability and GHG emissions : Milestone 3

posted on 2023-05-28, 05:15 authored by Matthew HarrisonMatthew Harrison, Karen Christie, Nicoli BarnesNicoli Barnes, Bilotto, F
The NEXUS project is a multi-party program that explores the nexus between profitability, productivity, greenhouse gas mitigation, carbon sequestration and consumer perceptions of livestock businesses in an increasingly variable climate. The Involve and Partner (I&P) extension to the Tasmanian NEXUS project is trialling biochar as a feed supplement to a cohort of livestock on a commercial beef cattle farm in northern Tasmania, Australia. The I&P farm have begun implementing pasture renovation activities aimed at increasing soil carbon and have formally registering their activities under the ERF. Supplementation of a commercial grade biochar ‘FeedChar’ to around 60 Wagyu-cross calves (biochar treatment) commenced in May 2022. A second cohort of 60 calves (control treatment) rotationally grazing paddocks of the same farm to allow a comparison of liveweight gain over the duration of the project. Measurements of pasture quality and availability indicates little difference between the control and biochar treatment cohorts. To date, no significant difference in liveweight gain between the two cohort of animals. We are also measuring total organic carbon in manure; results are being processed at the time of writing. An on-farm workshop was conducted on 18 November 2022 and a further two have been scheduled. The aims of these workshops are to promote awareness of the biochar supplementation project, implications for soil carbon, enteric methane and liveweight gain. In these we are assessing participant knowledge, attitudes, skills and aspirations to commence feeding biochar on their own properties. The first workshop had 20 attendees, these being a blend of producers and industry representatives. Workshops are planned for December 2022, in the north-east of the state, and then in February 2023, on a beef farm in the north-west of the state. These workshops will be conducted on farms that have used biochar as a feed supplement for several years, and are thus further along the mitigation journey compared with the I&P farm


Meat and Livestock Australia

University of Tasmania


Commissioning body

Meat and Livestock Australia Limited




Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture (TIA)


Meat and Livestock Australia Limited

Place of publication

North Sydney, NSW

Repository Status

  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

Climate change adaptation measures (excl. ecosystem); Management of greenhouse gas emissions from animal production; Management of greenhouse gas emissions from plant production