Producers encouraged to attend Climate and Carbon in Agriculture 2020 conference

Narromine's Andrew Gill will highlight the benefits of solar-diesel hybrid irrigation at the Climate and Carbon in Agriculture 2020 conference in Adelaide next month. Photo: Contributed.
Narromine's Andrew Gill will highlight the benefits of solar-diesel hybrid irrigation at the Climate and Carbon in Agriculture 2020 conference in Adelaide next month. Photo: Contributed.

Narromine's Andrew Gill will highlight the benefits of solar-diesel hybrid irrigation at the Climate and Carbon in Agriculture 2020 conference in Adelaide.

The 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 from March 31 to April 1.

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.

Mr Gill is a fifth generation farmer who runs a successful mixed farming operation that includes cotton, various winter crops, fat lambs and beef cattle on a property south-west of Narromine.

However 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, 100 Kilowatt system was reported to be one of the first and largest of its kind in the world.

He said since the installation of the solar-diesel hybrid irrigation bore pump on his Central West NSW farm, has led to substantial cuts in fuel costs, greater irrigation efficiencies and a massive reduction in greenhouse gas emission.

"The economics of our pump system stack up and the benefits are two-fold: for the farm and for the environment," Mr Gill 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," he said.

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.

Other keynote speakers include managing director and chief executive officer of the Australian Agricultural Company Hugh Killen; chief economist and former executive director of the Australia Institute Dr Richard Denniss; Director of the Climate Change Institute at the Australian National University and a vice chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Professor Mark Howden; and associate at Minter Ellison Charlotte Turner.

Producers are encouraged to register and share the opportunity to attend this leading conference 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