Commonwealth Bank (CBA’s) Australian-first Agri Green Loan is helping more farmers invest in innovation and technology to reduce on farm emissions and achieve improved productivity outcomes, according to fresh data announced at this year’s AgQuip 2023.

Enquiries for CBA’s Agri Green Loan increased 200 per cent in the 2022-23 financial year, reflecting a growing demand for financing solutions which support farm sustainability objectives as well as the increasing interest in carbon as an opportunity for the sector.

CBA agribusiness experts have shared insights at AgQuip 2023 in Gunnedah, alongside RCS Australia and CarbonLink™, about soil health and soil carbon as well as ways the Bank’s sustainable finance solutions are supporting the industry transition to a lower emissions future. 

CommBank’s General Manager Agribusiness, Natasha Greenwood said the Bank has proudly supported Australian agribusinesses for more than 110 years.

“AgQuip is an important event for the agricultural community to connect, to see the latest in innovation and technology and to learn about the latest trends in primary production,” Ms Greenwood said.

“There is a growing appetite amongst farmers to undertake a range of initiatives which build on farm resilience, improve productivity and profitability and support a lower carbon footprint. 

Our workshops with RCS Australia at AgQuip have been an excellent opportunity to share examples of how managing soil health can lead to improved productivity outcomes, how those practice changes can be financed and to answer a range of questions about carbon.”  

Among farmers who are innovating to improve sustainability and profitability are Graeme and Sue McDonald who own and operate a sheep and beef cattle farm in Queensland’s Central Highlands.

The McDonalds and their sons, Ben and his wife Kelly, and Samuel and his wife Jordan, have been farming the land for more 30 years and are always looking for new ways they can future proof the operation to ensure it remains productive and profitable.

CBA’s Agri Green Loan has supported the McDonalds to undertake a soil carbon project, which includes the installation of spreader banks, or small channels, off their in-paddock dams. These allow for greater water retention and dispersion after rainfall events, which enhances grass production and soil carbon sequestration.

The family have also deployed several sustainable farming practices to optimise water availability across their properties and have installed solar panels to reduce costs.

“Profitability must be key when running a large farming operation, and for many operations this is difficult to continuously manage. For us to be profitable, it all comes down to how much moisture we can capture and store on farm. Water management is crucial to everything we do,” Mr McDonald said.

“Conventional farming isn’t what it used to be, and CommBank is always endeavouring to understand more about what the farm of the future is going to be, and how they can better support agribusinesses like mine.”

Ms Greenwood said the Bank was excited to be working with farmers like the McDonalds to help them achieve their goals.

“AgQuip 2023 is an opportunity for farmers and industry experts to come together to celebrate innovation and technological advancement,” she said.

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