Farming For a Better Climate Newsletter -Summer 2020 (No. 22)
Reducing on-farm emissions - if there was just one thing...
The question of ‘what one thing can I do to reduce my farm carbon footprint’ remains elusive, as there are no easy answers and no one size fits all. Work with the Climate Change Focus Farms shows that even the most technically efficient farm can still cut emissions from routine practices and benefit the farm business, with some common areas consistently providing opportunities.
A farm carbon footprint will identify how much greenhouse gas is being lost from the various areas of your business, and importantly, provide pointers towards which practices could have the potential for emissions reduction. Often, it’s the ‘marginal gains’ approach that is required; small changes across all activities leading to a reduced farm carbon footprint and improved business performance.
A number of carbon auditing tools exist, we used Agrecalc across the Focus Farms at www.agrecalc.com Its free to use for farmers; alternatively Scotland’s Farm Advisory Service (FAS) offer funding for a consultant to carry out the audit with you - more information at www.fas.scot/carbon-audits/
In the absence of a carbon footprint there are a number of common areas where the focus farmers all made savings - nutrient budgeting always proved to be worth revisiting. Knowing soil nutrient status, applying slurry and manures at the right time in the correct amount for the growing crop, and only topping up with inorganic fertilisers to match crop demand regularly proved to be one way to reduce emissions and save money, with no loss of production.
Also in this edition...
- Soil Regenerative Agriculture Group - update
- New Farming for a Better Climate YouTube Channel
- Farming for a Better Climate library
- Sell or ‘sequester’ carbon on your farm?
- New Podcasts from Farming for a Better Climate
- Paddock or mob grazing?
- Integrating trees on your land
- Climate extremes - making your farm more resilient
- COP26 - coming to a city near you
- COP26 at a glance
- Working towards net-zero - where to begin?
- Further information and contact details