Projects under this method can earn Australian carbon credit units (ACCUs) by using synthetic fertiliser for irrigated cotton efficiently.

When to use this method

This method may be suitable for you if you want to introduce new ways to manage your irrigated cotton crop.

This method supports changes in nitrogen fertiliser application, such as:

  • the rate
  • timing
  • method
  • type of nitrogen fertiliser.

Under this method, you'll replace standard fertiliser with a nitrogen fertiliser.

You can find out more about this method by referring to our reducing greenhouse gas emissions from fertiliser in irrigated cotton guide.


Your project must run on Australian cotton farms in a region of the irrigated cotton industry to be eligible for this method.

You must provide at least 3 previous years' worth of cotton crop data. This includes:

  • area of cotton and green manure (such as legumes) planted
  • lint yield
  • fertiliser use.

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

Relevant legislation

  • Part 3 of the Act
  • Section 6 of the method
  • Section 8 of the method
  • Section 9 of the method


There are exclusions that apply under this method:

  • dryland production of cotton – emissions from fertiliser application in dryland cotton depend on rainfall intensity, duration and the fertiliser rate. Emissions can’t directly relate to the rate of fertiliser used on the crop
  • poultry litter, beef feedlot manure and composted ginning trash as fertiliser. These are waste products that produce the same number of emissions regardless.

Relevant legislation

  • Section 16 of the method
  • Background of the explanatory statement

Method requirements

You must carry out at least one new activity each time your project establishes a cotton area. Cotton areas are the land that you use to plant and irrigate cotton.

Your project activities must either:

  • increase lint yield without a proportional increase in the amount of synthetic nitrogen fertiliser applied
  • reduce the amount of synthetic nitrogen fertiliser applied without a proportional decrease in lint yield.

You can choose activities that suit your needs. They must be compliant with the method and consistent with the relevant Cotton Research and Development Corporation's myBMP standard.

Examples of activities you may choose include:

  • changing the type of nitrogen fertiliser
  • changing the rate, timing or placement of nitrogen fertiliser application
  • improving drainage
  • growing different crop varieties to increase yield.
Relevant legislation
  • Section 10 of the rule
  • Section 9 of the method
  • Section 10 of the method

7 years.

Relevant legislation
  • Part 5 of the Act

The Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water (DCCEEW) has an irrigated cotton calculator you must use to calculate abatement.

You're required to use the calculator and enter information on:

  • the region of the project area
  • nitrogen fertiliser amounts and concentration
  • the area of cotton and green manure planted
  • cotton lint yields.

Your net abatement is determined by subtracting project emissions over the reporting period from baseline emissions.

Project emissions are from:

  • synthetic nitrogen fertiliser and urea applied to the cotton area
  • green manure residues from crops planted on the cotton area immediately before the cotton crop.

Baseline emissions are emissions that occur without your project. These are determined during the emissions intensity reference period.

You must have access to at least 3 years of cotton crop data to calculate your baseline emissions intensity. This is the amount of emissions per kilogram of cotton lint produced.

Baseline emissions intensity is calculated for both synthetic nitrogen fertiliser and green manure.

For the baseline emissions, the calculator multiplies the emissions intensity by your lint yield for each year of the reporting period. It also applies a variance discount that considers natural variation in environmental conditions, which can affect the efficiency of your fertiliser and emissions intensity.

Relevant legislation
  • Part 4 of the method.​

You must keep records of:

  • the myBMP standard that applies to your management actions
  • the name, amount and nitrogen content of nitrogen fertiliser purchased.

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
  • Section 23 of the method

This method requires that your offset report contains:

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
  • Section 22 of the method

You must monitor the:

  • cotton area, seed planting density and irrigation status in each cotton area field
  • lint yield for each cotton area field
  • amount and nitrogen content of synthetic nitrogen fertiliser used in the cotton area
  • area and planting density of green manure crops planted before the cotton crop.

Remember to also meet the monitoring requirements of the Act.

Relevant legislation:
  • Part 17 of the Act
  • Section 24 to 28 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 during the reporting period. Extra 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