Australian farmers will not be required to hit net-zero emissions as part of the nation's green transition, but will be expected to reduce emissions to help hit economy-wide target sets by the government.
Agriculture Minister Murray Watt also told a Senate Estimates hearing on Tuesday afternoon that sector specific emissions reduction targets would not be applied to individual commodities.
The revelations should help allay two of the industry's long-held fears in how the government intended to clampdown on farm emissions.
Submissions made by peak agricultural groups to the agricultural and land sector plan published Tuesday were replete with questions on how the government intended to navigate the pressing issues.
Mr Watt told estimates that the government would not be setting a "hard" target but rather had an "expectation" that agriculture would reduce its emissions.
"We are not proposing to introduce an emissary reductions target specifically for the ag sector, what we are saying is the ag sector has a role to play in meeting our economy-wide reductions targets," he said.
"We are not talking about setting any binding targets around methane reduction, or anything like that.
"We are not intending to put a particular target around the ag sector to reduce its emissions by a certain amount, just as we are not intending to say that the transport sector must reduce emissions, but everyone must play a role.
"So any concerns from the NFF and others that we are going to require agriculture to be net zero, that is not what we are proposing."
However, Mr Watt acknowledged that "there is a lot of work to do" around developing a set of tools and methodology to measure emissions before any sectoral plans were rolled-out.
The government has mandated targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 26 to 28 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030 and for Australia to be net-zero by 2050.
Meanwhile, the National Farmer Federation agricultural and land sectoral plan submission said "unlike other sectors where sectoral plans are also in development, net-zero remains a distinct impossibility for agriculture."
"While technological innovation has and will continue to support ongoing emissions reduction, food and fibre cannot be produced without emissions," it said.
The NFF also said that government must recognise Australian agriculture's ongoing contribution to productive landscape management, food security and emissions reduction.
"Agriculture must not and cannot become the solution to other sector's problems via too much focus and reliance on offsets in the agricultural landscape," the submission said.
"The task of national emissions reduction is a shared responsibility for all sectors, agriculture will continue to play our part, we cannot be singled out as the only or primary solution to this complex problem."
Liberal National Senator Susan McDonald told Mr Watt that she was "unclear as to how you will separate agriculture from an economy-wide target?"
Mr Watt responded to the Shadow Minister for Northern Australia in saying: "Well, watch this space."
He added that Australia's international and domestic markets for agricultural production were also "expecting higher and higher standards" of sustainability and emissions reductions efforts.
"Bank, insurers, are taking these things into account, there are an enormous number of economic reasons as to why we need to work with the agricultural sector to reduce its emissions," he said.
"It is certainly not just up to agriculture and we have taken action across other sectors. But agriculture has a role to play and the sector largely recognises that and... the industry has done a lot (of work) in this space already."
Meanwhile, with cost-of-living pressures currently the nation's biggest issue and several inquiries underway to investigate allegations of supermarket price gouging, Mr Watt also said he does not accept that taking action on climate change must drive up food prices.
"If we can be shifting to lower-cost energy over time, through renewables, the cheapest form of energy available, that will reduce farm costs," he said.
"If we can be moving to higher water efficiency, more fertiliser efficiency, more efficient use of inputs and more sustainable, that actually offers the opportunity for farmers to reduce their costs."
Mr Watt also told the hearing that he doubted farmers protesting over harsh European Commission environmental policies would be replicated in Australia.
"I have seen the farmers' protests in the EU and my understanding is that the EU is imposing a range of requirements and changes that our government is not proposing to do," he said.
The European Union Commission last week made a snap decision to shelve its agricultural chemical restrictions after weeks of farmer protests.
In announcing the backtrack, Commission president Ursula von der Leyen acknowledged that the body had not fairly consulted farmers before writing the policy.