VG08107 – Carbon Footprint part 3 – calculators

This paper reviews four calculators and models which have relevance to, or which might be adapted for greenhouse gas accounting, within the vegetable industry :

  1. Grains Greenhouse Calculator (DPI Victoria)
  2. CarboNZero (New Zealand Crown Research Institute)
  3. FullCAM (Australian Department of Environment and Heritage)
  4. APSIM (Agricultural Production Systems Research Unit)..


Shaun Lisson

What carbon footprinting tools are currently available - September 2008
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Summary :

The selection of these tools was based on three criteria, namely:

  1. the scope and scale of emission accounting
  2. scientific credibility and
  3. suitability for use in Australian agricultural systems

They are also representative of the types of agricultural greenhouse calculators that are available worldwide.

The Grains Greenhouse Calculator and CarboNZero employ static, spreadsheet-based approaches, whereas APSIM and FullCAM are dynamic process-based models that capture the flow and stocks of carbon and nitrogen in the atmosphere/plant/soil continuum.

Key attributes relating to the design, scope, methodology, operation, availability, and apparent strengths and limitations are described for each tool.

Individually, these tools do not appear to be suitable for immediate application in the vegetable industry and investment is required to address apparent scientific, design and operational limitations.

However, collectively they capture the key attributes and functions required to develop a vegetable greenhouse accounting calculator.

Acknowledgments :

Funding was provided by Australian vegetable growers (through the R & D levy) and Horticulture Australia Limited. The Australian Government provides matched funding for all HAL’s R&D activities.

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