Tiverton Agriculture Impact Fund

Agworld Farm Management Software Client, Tiverton Agriculture Impact Fund

Using field records to earn carbon credits

The Tiverton Agriculture Impact Fund 'Tiverton' charter is to acknowledge the natural capital aspects of their farms such as soil and native plantings, and how to monetise those natural capital elements of the farm in addition to conventional farming practices. In order to pass the fund audit, and requirements as set out by the Emission Reduction Fund 'ERF' to earn carbon credits, it is crucial for Tiverton to have accurate field records.
When Tiverton bought its first five properties, a mix of different farm record systems were in use. Tiverton knew they needed a system that would aid them in keeping accurate records for their investors and proving their sustainable farming practices for the ERF to earn carbon credits. Agworld was the preferred program among staff and management, and so the decision was made to use Agworld across the broadacre properties.
Because Tiverton creates standardised field records with Agworld, they are able to: Pass ERF audits and earn carbon credits. Show detailed financial results to their investors. Create a natural-capital reporting dashboard for their investors.
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Tiverton Agriculture Impact Fund

Location: NSW, QLD, VIC
Operation: Dryland broad acre cropping
Focus: Natural capital
Crops: Wheat, barley, canola, chickpeas, vetch, sorghum, olives, cover crops

Combining regenerative agriculture and natural capital with profitability

Founded in 2017, Tiverton invests in diversified food production assets and other businesses that combine regenerative agriculture, biodiversity solutions and natural capital value. Tiverton raised money from Australian HNWIs with the clear charter of acknowledging the natural capital aspects of their farms such as soil and native plantings, and how to monetize those natural capital elements of the farm in addition to conventional farming practices.

After purchasing the first five farms for the fund, founders Harry Youngman and Nigel Sharp knew they needed one farm management system to use across their broad acre properties, explains Harry: “Our investors are interested in our natural capital value, for which we produce an annual dashboard, but they of course want us to be profitable also, so we produce an annual conventional-farming dashboard as well. Creating this dashboard can become very labor intensive if you don't have proper records but, because we use Agworld across our three broad acre properties, it is easy to get an exact financial overview of the farming operations on each property.”

Harry continues: “The three properties are geographically diversified, with Picardy in Central Queensland, Jamea on the NSW Liverpool Plains and Orana in Victoria, so creating a system that allows for central oversight from our head office is key for us. Our agronomists create recommendations in Agworld and our farm managers, staff and contractors convert these recommendations into actuals. Myself and others at head office are then able to create any report we need for our dashboards, audits and other purposes.”

Earning carbon credits through natural capital

For Tiverton, natural capital is a way of thinking about nature as an asset. Emerging markets for water, terrestrial carbon, soil carbon and vegetation offsets provide new income streams through regenerative agriculture. In order to tap these new income streams, many audits have to be passed by Tiverton, such as for the Emissions Reduction Fund (ERF).

The Carbon Farming Initiative (CFI) is a voluntary carbon offsets scheme. It is an integral component of the ERF and allows land managers to earn carbon credits by changing land use or management practices to store carbon or reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Harry explains: “We have the first approved cropping methodology in Australia's history with the ERF, and the requirements that are bestowed upon us by the ERF are really broad reaching. Agworld is critical for us to maintain the right records for us to comfortably pass our audit; without a system like Agworld this would become very difficult and labor intensive.”

In the last year, Tiverton also bought a business called Carbon Neutral, a profit-for-purpose carbon solutions provider and carbon offset developer. Harry: “I think that many growers who use Carbon Neutral's carbon management and advisory services will use Agworld under Carbon Neutral's guidance to record what goes on with those particular farms. Whether growers are looking to earn their Carbon Credits through a Gold Standard or an Australian certified program, accurate and standardized field records are key for every grower in this scenario, and Agworld offers that.”

Novel farming techniques

As part of Tiverton's regenerative farming philosophy, they use a number of new and novel farming techniques. With their fertilizer program for example they focus on microelements, says Harry: “We've got a strong emphasis on supplying a whole host of microelements to our crops to empower the macroelements to work much more efficiently. This makes our nitrogen-use efficiency around 5 times greater than in conventional situations where you rely mainly on straight urea applications.”

Harry adds: “This is where Agworld is critical for us, to help us calculate and budget different scenarios field-by-field or crop-by-crop. Not only does this allow us to plan ahead and order the right amounts of inputs such as chemical, seed, diesel and fertilizer, but we can also run some low, mid and high case scenarios for budgeting purposes.”

On Tiverton's three broadacre properties they grow a range of different crops, from wheat, barley, canola and chickpeas to vetch, cover crops, sorghum and olives; variety is key. On all these crops however, Tiverton uses very little fungicide and only hard-hitting pesticides when it really cannot be avoided according to Harry: “This is really at the core of our principles, to treat our natural capital as best as we can through our farming techniques. And, whatever we do, our staff record every application in Agworld, so we know exactly what we did and what the results were.”

"Whether growers are looking to earn their Carbon Credits through a Gold Standard or an Australian certified program, accurate and standardised field records are key for every grower in this scenario, and Agworld offers that."
Harry Youngman Tiverton Agriculture Impact Fund
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