Projects under this method can earn Australian carbon credit units (ACCUs) by substituting urea supplements with a nitrate supplement in the form of lick blocks to pasture-fed beef cattle.

When to use this method

The beef cattle feed method may be suitable for you if you have:


To be eligible for this method, your project must:

  • be located in Australia
  • include land that has been used to feed urea supplements to pasture-fed beef cattle at least once in the 5 years before your project starts
  • include land with sufficient pasture to meet the herds' required daily mass intake.

You must also meet the the Australian carbon credit unit (ACCU) Scheme eligibility requirements.

Relevant legislation:

  • Part 3 of the Act
  • Part 2 of the method


There are exclusions under this method:

  • Feedlot beef cattle: it's unlikely feeding nitrate to feedlot cattle will reduce emissions. This is due to their dung and urine having significant amounts of nitrous oxide compared to pasture-grazed cattle.
  • Land that’s never been used for feeding urea: this exclusion applies even if herds have been fed urea on a different part of the property.

Relevant legislation:

  • Section 1.4 of the explanatory statement
  • Part 3 of the method

Method requirements

Beef nitrates calculator

To check if this method is suitable for you, use the Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water's beef nitrates calculator.

In a feeding nitrates to beef cattle project, you fully or partially replace urea supplements with nitrate supplements in pasture-fed beef cattle. This reduces the methane emissions that the cattle produce.

Nitrate is supplied as a lick block with a specified sulfur-to-nitrate ratio. The sulfur reduces risk of toxicity to your cattle.

Lick blocks are available to cattle over a specified feeding period or nitrate supplementation period. The frequency that herds are fed at doesn’t matter during this period, but it must occur in consecutive days.

You must:

  • introduce the lick blocks at a lower concentration for the first 2 weeks of each feeding period
  • ensure nitrates are supplied to cattle as lick blocks with a specific sulfur-to-nitrate ratio.

You should use the beef nitrates calculator to help find the factors you need to know to run a project, including:

  • diet information for your region
  • safe nitrate feeding levels
  • the correct sulfur-to-nitrate ratio for your herd.

You must feed nitrates and urea at safe levels. Feeding nitrates below recommended levels can cause side effects including weight gain and reproductive inefficiencies. Overfeeding of nitrates and urea can cause toxicity and death.

You need to consider the levels of protein available from the pasture. Nitrate supplements only reduce emissions and benefit livestock health when the pasture's protein levels are low.

You shouldn’t switch your herd to nitrate supplements if their protein requirements are already being met.

Relevant legislation
  • Part 3 of the method

There are risks related to feeding nitrate and urea to cattle.

We recommend you seek independent advice before implementing a project under this method.

Relevant legislation
  • Section 13 (f) of the rule

7 years.

Relevant legislation:
  • Part 5 of the Act

You can calculate your project's abatement by using the beef nitrates calculator.

The calculator uses information you provide during your reporting period, such as:

  • herd counts and composition
  • average liveweight of cattle
  • feeding start and end dates
  • opening and closing stocks of nitrates
  • any urea for each feeding period.
Relevant legislation
  • Part 4 of the method

You must monitor the:

  • number of animals in each livestock class
  • average liveweight of each livestock class
  • nitrate lick block consumption
  • consumption of non-protein nitrogen that isn’t nitrate.

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

Relevant legislation
  • Part 17 of the Act
  • Division 5.2 of the method​​​​

You must keep records of:

  • project area location and history of urea use
  • herd management
  • herd numbers and liveweights
  • start and end dates of feeding periods
  • opening and closing stock and composition of nitrogen supplements used.

The opening stock is the amount of lick blocks you supply. The closing stock is all uneaten or partially consumed lick blocks that you remove, count and weigh.

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

Relevant legislation
  • Part 17 of the Act
  • Part 17 of the rule
  • Division 5.3 of the method

Your offsets reports must contain:

  • the start and end date of the reporting period
  • inputs and outputs of the beef nitrates calculator
  • carbon dioxide equivalent net abatement amount.

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

Relevant legislation
  • Part 6 of the Act
  • Part 6 of the rule
  • Division 5.4 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 and additional audits can be triggered.

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

Relevant legislation:
  • Part 19 of the Act
  • Part 6 of the rule