Beef management calculators

Errors have been found in the Department of Climate Change, Energy, Environment and Water's (DCCEEW) beef herd management calculator. This means that neither version 3.2 nor 1.3 nor any previous versions of the calculator can be appropriately used to determine abatement as required by section 23(a) of the method.

All versions of the calculator are unavailable for use while the errors are being fixed. Offsets reports and ACCUs can't be assessed during this time.

We'll consider any implications for offsets reports previously submitted using the old calculators once the amended calculators are available and the impact of the errors is known.

We're working closely to fix the errors and aim to have amended calculators available soon.

Projects under this method can earn Australian carbon credit units (ACCUs) by improving beef cattle maturity and quality. This can be done by:

  • increasing herd weight to age ratio, such as heavier and younger cattle

  • reducing average herd age

  • reducing proportion of unproductive animals in the herd

  • increasing total annual live weight gain of the herd through changed livestock class proportions, such as fewer breeding cattle and more weight-gaining productive animals because of higher weaner survival rates.

When to use this method

The beef cattle herd management method may be suitable for your business if:

  • your cattle herd grazes on pasture
  • you want to improve herd productivity
  • you’re thinking of introducing a new herd management activity or varying an existing herd activity
  • you want to reduce emissions intensity of beef cattle production.



To be eligible for this method, your project must include cattle that:

In your application to register your project, you need to demonstrate how your proposed activity will result in reduced emissions intensity from project activities.

You must also meet general eligibility requirements for the Australian Carbon Credit Unit (ACCU) Scheme.

Relevant legislation:

  • Part 3 of the Act
  • Part 3 of the method


You won't be eligible if:

  • you're a feedlot or dairy operation in ANZSIC Class 0143 or ANZSIC Class 0160
  • your cattle feed on land cleared of perennial woody vegetation for the purposes of the project
  • your cattle feed on herd non-protein nitrogen, such as urea or nitrates
  • your only agricultural practice is cattle grazing on a different area of land.

Relevant legislation:

  • Part 3 of the method

Method requirements

We varied the method in 2017. This included the following changes:

  • Your herd is specified from the inventory of cattle on the books of a business operation. A business operation doesn't need to be a separate legal entity if its associated herd is managed as a discrete set of animals over time. These provisions replace earlier provisions for an entity and sub entity structure.
  • You can add more herds to a project. This means that herds acquired before or during your project with less than 3 years of historical intensity data can be included.
  • You have flexibility in the duration of mustering around assessment day to assist in data collection.
  • You have additional provisions to ensure a full 7-year crediting period for each individual herd in your project.

The previous version of the method was closed for new projects when this variation became available.

If your project started under the old method:

  • your project won’t be affected by the variation
  • you can choose to transfer to the varied method.

The start of the crediting period may be reset in accordance with the crediting period basic rule if the transitioning project hasn’t submitted a project report.

You must conduct a minimum of one project activity each year for every herd in your project.

A project activity is an agricultural practice that didn't occur during the emissions intensity reference period, which is the period before the beginning of your project.

The data from an emissions intensity reference period estimates emissions intensity and calculates baseline emissions.

You can reduce cattle emissions by:

  • supplement feeding
  • installing new fences
  • planting improved pastures
  • improving herd genetics
  • increasing density of water points.

At least one project activity must be conducted each year for every herd in a project.

​Each herd in your project must be managed and pastured separately from herds that aren’t in the project.

This excludes herds in an arm's length agistment. This is a written contract where a party with more grazing capacity available than needed for its own cattle, allows another party to use the spare grazing capacity.

The 2 parties and herds must belong to different people or entities.

There are specific circumstances that allow for movement of cattle to or from the herd, for example purchase or sale at fair value. You must keep a business record of these movements.

You can conduct other activities to reduce emissions intensity, but they must meet method requirements.

Relevant legislation:
  • Part 3 section 17 of the method

7 years.

We recommend that you select a crediting period start date later than the declaration date of the project. The date chosen should be after the herd’s first assessment day when cattle are weighed. This allows abatement to be recognised for 7 years for each initial herd.

The date for the assessment day will set the annual date on which further weighing takes place and abatement is measured. The collection of data by way of mustering and weighing may take place 6 weeks before or after the assessment day date. Different herds of the project may have different assessment days. ​

Different herds may have different assessment days. ​

Relevant legislation:
  • Part 5 of the Act
  • Part 3 of the method

Abatement is achieved by reducing greenhouse gas emissions. It’s measured in tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent.

A project earns ACCUs for every tonne of carbon abatement it achieves.

To calculate abatement, you must use the Department of Climate Change, Energy, Environment and Water's (DCCEEW) beef herd management calculator.

You must specify an emissions intensity reference period for each herd in your project. This is calculated by choosing 3 years where the herd's live weight for each year was greater than zero. These 3 years must fall within the past 7 years.

Some herds might only have partial historical data from 2 previous years.

To calculate the net abatement amount for each year, you must first subtract 4% from the herd's historical baseline emissions. You then calculate the difference between this amount and the herd's emissions following the implementation of your project activities.

The 4% discount accounts for a variation to emissions from environmental factors beyond project control.

Relevant legislation:

  • Part 4 of the method
  • Part 3 division 16 of the method

You must monitor each animal in the herd for your inputs in the DCCEEW beef herd management calculator.

You must remember to also meet general monitoring requirements of the Act.

Relevant legislation:
  • Part 17 of the Act
  • Part 17 of the rule
  • Part 5 Division 4 of the method

You must keep records for 7 years.

Records must:

  • be separate and self-contained for each herd, such as records of yearly liveweight gain and movements of cattle in and out of the herd with live weights at entry into and exit from herd
  • show the business structure, location and management changes in the emission intensity reference period
  • include any purchased feed if your project activity and agricultural practice involves a change to the herd’s diet.

You must remember to also meet the general record-keeping requirements of the Act.

Relevant legislation:
  • Part 17 of the Act
  • Part 17 of the rule
  • Part 5 Division 3 of the method

You must submit project reports to us throughout the crediting period of your project.

Reporting periods must be at least 6 months long, and no longer than 2 years. You can nominate when to report on your project between these periods.

You must remember to also meet the general reporting and notification requirements of the Act and the rule.

Relevant legislation:
  • Part 6 of the Act
  • Part 6 of the rule
  • Part 5 of the method

We provide you with an audit schedule when your project's declared.

You must provide audit reports according to this schedule.

We schedule at least 3 audits. Additional audits can be triggered.

For more information on audit requirements, you can refer to our audit information.

Relevant legislation:

  • Part 19 of the Act
  • Part 6 Division 3 of the rule

Documents and resources