The Age (Australia)
By Steve Gray
August 6, 2009

Agriculture doesn’t fit the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme (CPRS) and should be excluded forever, president of Australia’s peak farmers’ body said on Thursday.

David Crombie, president of the National Farmers’ Federation, said laws to establish the CPRS would be introduced to the federal parliament on Wednesday. The proposed laws do not initially embrace agriculture but Mr Crombie says they never should.

He said Australian farmers had cut emissions and would continue to do so.

"Agriculture does not fit a Kyoto-rule Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme," Mr Crombie told a Rural Press Club breakfast in Brisbane.

"We’ve been excluded until 2015, with a decision to be made in 2013.

"What we’re saying as the NFF is… let’s extend it forever.

"Agriculture should be excluded from the CPRS and what we need to be looking at is alternative ways to be reducing emissions.

"There are alternative ways of reducing emissions, agriculture has been doing it for the last 15 years – agriculture has reduced emissions by 40 per cent over 15 years,

"There’s more we can do.

"It’s about pastures, it’s about zero-till agriculture, it’s about reducing fertilisers, it’s about new management systems, it’s about tree planting.

"Farmers plant 20 million trees a year, that’s a hell of a lot more than most people I know in the Wilderness Society.

"We are doing a lot in terms of agricultural emission reduction. There is more we can do.

"We don’t fit the CPRS.

"Let’s stop bullshitting about and get on with the job of reducing emissions – that’s the target."