RUMINANT NEWS

ON-FARM CARBON FOOTPRINTING NOW AVAILABLE IN UK

The UK’s Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) will launch its first wave of on-farm carbon footprinting through its Farm Excellence network. Chosen to represent a range of regions, systems and sectors, a total of 40 strategic and monitor farms will be the first to be assessed to determine their carbon footprint. The assessments will be carried out by SAC Consulting and ADAS between November 2020 and March 2021, with results leading to bespoke mitigation measures in detailed carbon action plans. Dr Jonathon Foot, AHDB’s Head of Environment explains, “The assessments are essentially the gathering of information – to identify and quantify all activities or inputs on farm that come with a carbon footprint. Tim Isaac Director of Knowledge Exchange at AHDB added that farmer input and actions are where the success lies. “Implementing changes on farm can sometimes be a challenge and concerns are often raised about cost implications and wider impacts on productivity. However, evidence generally points towards ‘better for the environment equals better for businesses, so there are potentially benefits to be had all around. “The key part of these assessments will be the identification of the specific measures the individual farms can take – while some will be unique to each one, we also expect some common themes to emerge. This will allow us to develop case studies and share practical tips and learnings widely through our knowledge exchange activity”. The first cohort of farms will consist of 13 cereal and oilseed growers, 10 beef and lamb producers, 10 milk producers, and 3 potato growers. The initial wave offers a springboard for more activity to be launched under the new five year AHDB strategy being published later this year. Moving forward, environmental sustainability will be a key strategic focus area. Tim added: “Farmers and growers have a unique opportunity to be part of the solution to tackle climate change. The actions we take as an industry have the potential to make a real impact in the national ambition to be carbon neutral by 2050.”