smoking chimneys

The key GHGs for agriculture that contribute directly to climate change are: 

  • Carbon dioxide (CO2) 
  • Methane (CH4) 
  • Nitrous oxide (N2O) 

 All these GHGs are often grouped under the umbrella term ‘carbon’. 

The contribution agriculture makes to global warming varies, dependant on how they are calculated (GWP calculation) and what they include (direct, indirect emissions) and none include the critical contribution of sequestration. According to the Government’s official statistics, using GWP100, agriculture in the UK accounts for 10% of the country’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, equal to about 46.3 Mt of CO2 equivalent (2019). This does not take into consideration the carbon sequestered by farms in the soil, trees and hedges.

Source and further information: AHDB Greenhouse gas emissions: agriculture page

 

DEFRA Agri-climate report 2022

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YEN Zero is a recently established network in the ADAS YEN Family, with the overarching aim of creating a net-zero community. It aims to bring key players from across the agricultural industry together to meet the industry’s target of achieving net zero emissions by 2040.

The number of tools and calculators available can be daunting. None are necessarily right or wrong, the appropriate tool for you depends on the question you are asking.

The development of a forage network which will recommend a pathway to gaining optimum benefits from forages through realistic actions​. This project, which runs from September 2023 for 6 months, will: Bring together a network of stakeholders to understand the best approach for improving forage systems, considering potential opportunities and barriers to uptake​ Create a roadmap, which can be used to achieve benefits for livestock sectors through changes in forage systems​

The UK Government has set a Net Zero target for 2050. Land use and management has a key role to play in this, with the NFU setting an even earlier target of 2040.

Farmers taking part in and getting paid for on-farm trials as part of the NCS Project.

Farm carbon calculator to lower emissions and increase productivity

A transdisciplinary hub looking to provide to bridge the gap between science and policy to achieve Net Zero

Introduction   Climate change will significantly impact agriculture, forestry and the food industry, and the impact will change over time. The change in local and global climate conditions will impact the life cycle process of the agriculture and food industry, including the quality of seeds, growing seasons, crop maturity, livestock productivity, forest productivity, etc. The most critical impacts are the increased CO2 emissions due to growth in agricultural activities, the changing rainfall patterns, increased evaporative demand, reduced water availability for irrigation threatening all agricultural production, extended or repeated periods of drought, tree deaths, increased flooding, including that caused by sea-level rise, substantial losses in crop production in low-lying agricultural areas, soil compaction, waterlogging and soil erosion, and pests and diseases threatening the production.    Climate change will affect the range and quality of the ecosystem services that agriculture and forestry provide and rely on. They provide climate control, flood regulation, biodiversity, pollination and nutrient cycling. These sectors play a critical role in adapting to the change by introducing new healthy and resilient genotypes, varieties, breeds and management practices.    As the impact of climate change continues to be severe, there is a need for more anticipatory adaptation measures. Agriculture and forestry are components of larger biophysical, social and economic systems, reacting and adapting to climate change in different ways, resulting in complex global changes whose impacts at the local level are not easy to predict.   Conversely, the demand for agriculture and the food industry is growing, including to achieve the ‘No Hunger’ SDG 2 target, universal access to safe and nutritious food, end all forms of malnutrition, double the productivity and incomes of small-scale food producers, sustainable food production and resilient agricultural practices, maintain the genetic diversity in food production, invest in rural infrastructure, agricultural research, technology and gene banks, preventing agricultural trade restrictions, market distortions and export subsidies, and ensuring stable food commodity markets and timely access to information.   Thus, achieving food and nutritional security by increasing crop productivity while limiting carbon emissions is of utmost priority for every nation. This includes strengthening sustainable agri-food value chains, scaling up agri-food systems resilience, improving food security, and generating employment. While doing this, we must increase innovative practices and the creative and entrepreneurial skills of farmers worldwide to do their jobs and businesses effectively, foresee future scenarios and be prepared and resilient to climate and economic shocks.   This highlights an urgent need to identify an eco-friendly/cleaner consumption and production system that is more productive, profitable, resource-efficient (i.e. efficient use of energy, water, and carbon-based inputs), environmentally safer, balanced gender, accessible and inclusive of everyone, and resilient. Communities Carbon Calculator (CCC) Pilot Our proposal, Communities Carbon Calculator, is about designing eco-friendly and carbon-cum energy efficient, resilient and sustainable production and consumption systems for the diverse agroecosystems worldwide.   The primary concept is to have meaningful, interrelated, inter-sectoral collaborative four (4) Carbon Interventions: Carbon budgeting includes carbon reduction, using embodied carbon and reducing carbon waste for positive impact. Carbon mobilisation includes understanding the carbon dynamics throughout the processes, practices and products and applying technologies (natural, bio, chemical, mechanical, etc.) and fixing it for positive impact. Carbon literacy includes increasing the understanding and knowledge of the use of technologies (digital), theories and practices for a sustainable and resilient low-carbon sector. Carbon Sustainability includes developing local and global ecosystems for sustainable and resilient sectors.   CCC Pilot will focus on 1 region and four countries in this Pilot. However, we are open to more countries or regions joining the Pilot. We have started collecting interest from the global community, and if we get 20 stakeholders from a country, it will be included in the pilot.   For now, we have committed interest from: Region: The Congo Basin Countries: Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ouganda, Kenya, Ghana, Pakistan, Nigeria, Zambia, and Mongolia   The Global Sustainable Futures Progress through Partnerships Network calls partners/collaborators/individuals to join the optimised integrated COMMUNITIES CALCULATOR CARBON (CCC) Pilot. For Africa, our foremost partner is Actions for the Development of Africa - ADA, led by Bernard K. Mulenda. He is closely working with Professor Dr Mylor Ngoie on the interventions from the Universities over the region.   Country Carbon Calculator (CCC) Pilot will drive total transformation in systems at the country level. It will impact many other interrelated sectors, such as agriculture, water, waste, transport, energy, health, etc., developing in-country projects and integrating strategies for technology, subject expertise, innovation and commercialisation, including: Identifying and connecting with relevant stakeholders physically, socially and virtually, both at local, national and regional levels Advocating, encouraging, and negotiating with stakeholders to get involved in the program for managing carbon emission, business and innovative commodities, adopting an integrated approach and multi-area agreements Creating local, national and regional forums to attract all stakeholders (start-ups, technicians, experts) associated with business Facilitating carbon calculator development in-country, partnering with subject matter experts, academia, and technology experts The Carbon Calculator will be an online tool enabling every business manager detailing and supply chain actors to calculate the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and carbon storage into soil and biomass on the land area they are footprinting. It will account for all types of agriculture, food production and land use, producing a carbon balance detailing emissions into Scopes 1,2,3 emissions and carbon storage. A noticeable difference will be reflected in the quality of services, commercialisation, certification, carbon credits, crop diversity and inclusion of farmers, women and youth A scalable and innovative approach to connecting the countries as low-carbon, resilient and sustainable environmental, agriculture and food suppliers, health, manufacturing, etc. Seven WorkPlans WP1: To map the current resources in your country to create a farm carbon calculator WP2: To build a working model for piloting the carbon calculator WP3: To evaluate the CCC Pilot quarterly for its delivery of services/products/processes WP4: To measure the changes in the sector due to the innovative practices developed through CCC Pilot WP5: To measure the changes in related sectors such as agriculture, water, energy, transport, health nutrition, soil quality, housing, etc. through CCC Pilot WP6: To develop the learning/skill development/innovative practices knowledge exchange gathered through CCC Pilot WP7: To work with the stakeholders to improve decision-making for a resilient and sustainable industry   Please complete this form to express your interest: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLScpkme0WNS-th6QGNcTTJ6d9vMZa2myFBixszOD4YYDLRq9Mg/viewform?usp=share_link Contact Dr Renuka Thakore, Founder and CEO, Global Sustainable Futures Network CIC, UK [email protected] https://www.linkedin.com/in/rbthakore/  

Report commissioned by WWF & Tesco launched at OFC 2022 on "

NFU published a report in 2019 outling how agriculture can be part of the solution and commiting

The 18th Recycling of Agricultural, Municipal and Industrial Residues in Agriculture Network (RAMIRAN) conference was a resounding success. See selected resources from the conference below.

This project aims to bring some clarity on the extent to which commonly used tools diverge in their estimates of carbon footprint for a range of well-defined reference systems.

Countryside COP, organised by CFEonline, provides a platform to hear how the UK farming can help tackle climate change and improve sustainability. From 20-24 November 2023, ADAS hosted a series of webinars exploring how to improve climate resilience in the agricultural sector.

Reducing your Carbon Footprint: Integrated approaches to reduce emissions and increase carbon sequestration

Soil carbon is undoubtedly important for crop production and soil workability. While incredibly v

Seaweed’s and macroalgae’s agricultural use could have a role in circularity, particularly in coa

Climate change threatens our ability to ensure global food security, eradicate poverty and achieve sustainable development. In 2016, 31 percent of global emissions originating from human activity came from agrifood systems.

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An overview of the greenhouse gas costs of cropping, including an analysis of YEN data in lead up to establishing YEN Zero.  Also includes an analysis of the relationship between nitrogen fertiliser, GHG costs, yield, GHG intensity and potential indirect land use change (ILUC) consequences. Part funded by the Morley Foundation.

As part of the Biomass Feedstocks Innovation Program, White Horse Energy are developing a transportable pelletiser to process agricultural residues and perennial energy crops behind the farmgate. This will provide farmers with a diversified and increased revenue stream without interfering with existing operations. For more information, read on.

The Big Tent is the annual meeting of the Network and an opportunity for participants to hear from, and engage with, researchers, business leaders, policy-makers and voluntary organisations working for change in the agri-food system to meet the UK’s net zero 2050 goal. 

This report aims to explore N cycling in livestock production systems, highlighting the roles of different forms of N, particularly its vital role in protein production, and where losses occur from the cycle.

The dairy sector is often in the firing line when it comes to the criticism cows receive for their contribution to greenhouse gas emissions. This is despite total emissions from UK dairy production falling by 16.1% between 1990 and 2020.

Certain crops (potatoes, sugar beet, maize, field vegetables) within a wider arable rotation pose increased risk of soil loss or degradation. Often described as ‘risky’ these crops may require additional management to ensure that field conditions are favourable and that there is no long-term disruption to soil functionality or structure.

The livestock industry is often scrutinised for its carbon footprint even though many farmers are actively working to reduce emissions and farm in the most sustainable manner. Despite this, more can always be done. CIEL’s Net Zero & Livestock: How Farmers can reduce emissions report launched in 2022 provides sheep farmers with practical tips to help reduce emissions on-farm, which we list in the blog below:

New report highlights the role reducing key endemic diseases in ruminants can play in contributing to the Global Methane Pledge formed at COP26 to reduce methane emissions by 30% by 2030.

Scientists are working to understand how plants engage with soil microorganisms, so we can reactivate them.

Based on RASE’s ‘Farm of the Future’ report, this guide highlights some of the tools available to farm businesses. It shows how farmers can be part of the transition to a more circular economy, improve soil management, deploy solutions to sequester carbon, protect rural resources, and adopt on-farm renewable energy.

Farmers working with scientists to achieve the best from pulse crops and reduce their carbon emissions.

Net zero is not just about emissions, it's also about balancing the amount of greenhouse gas released with the amount removed across your entire farm business.

This page is designed to give information to PulsePEP community members on using the Farm Carbon Calculator from Farm Carbon Toolkit for carbon emission baselining as part of the Nitrogen Climate Smart Project.

The trial will evaluate the long-term effects of pulses in an arable rotation, particularly the effect on available N to following crops. Objectives are: To evaluate the effects of winter beans, winter bean/ winter wheat intercrop and spring beans on soil nitrogen supply annually over 5 years. To evaluate the effects of species and species mixtures on GHG emissions. To evaluate impacts on soil structure and health resulting from cropping differences.

This paper describes four scenarios for how the world might be in 2050 and what sort of agri-food systems may exist within them.

Healthy, well-managed soils support productive and healthy crops and pasture and allows for a profitable and resilient farming system.

Measurements of N2O were made using static flux chambers for a 24 month period from sowing to 12 months after harvest.

The discussions at COP28 highlight the critical role of agricultural innovations in achieving food security and climate goals sustainably.

Join us for a morning tour and chat with Nuffield Scholar Toby, as we explore the benefits of cover cropping for climate-friendly farming.

The business event showcasing low carbon practices, technology and energy solutions for a profitable & sustainable farming future

Carbon footprints are presented within the contemporary media, commercial entities and frequently by government agencies as a proximate measure for sustainability.

In the face of rising fertiliser prices and environmental concerns, it is crucial to optimise nitrogen use efficiency, NUE, in agriculture. 

Fertility is the key driver of profit in the dairy herd and is dependent on genetics, nutrition and health status.

To help growers calculate the carbon footprint of their crops and identify mitigation measures, the Yield Enhancement Network created a new farmer network called YEN Zero.

As global warming increases, young people currently in their teens, 20s, 30s, and early 40s will be the ones to bear the brunt of climatic changes, plus the responsibility of transitioning the agri-food system towards net zero by 2050.

Join us for an insightful day at the Oxford FAI Farm where we will be showcasing the groundbreaking progress of 'bigger steps for smaller footprints towards climate-positive beef', funded by the Department for Environment Food & Rural Affairs’ Farming Innovation Programme Feasibility Round 1 Competition.

Soil carbon is a component of soil organic matter which derives from the deposition and incorporation of leaf litter, crop residues, plant material, dead roots and animal wastes. Approximately 58% of soil organic matter is carbon.

This webinar introduces the work of YEN Zero with the ADAS Climate Change and Sustainability team and Will Oliver, an arable farmer from Lincolnshire and YEN Zero member.

Across the horticulture sector, production efficiency and waste avoidance are key to cutting emissions from farms.

Workshops for PulsePEP community members on using the Farm Carbon Calculator from Farm Carbon Toolkit for carbon emission baselining as part of the Nitrogen Climate Smart Project.

Let's dive deep into the world of fugitive methane, for this event, we IFEAA are teaming up with AFN Network +

As part of Countryside COP, NSA hosted a webinar on Wednesday 22nd November at 7pm to talk about the use of genetics to tackle methane emissions on sheep farms.

There are lots of reasons for farmers to be interested in carbon markets, especially given the changing agricultural policy and push towards net zero as well as other potential benefits.

This RASE Infographic describes strategies involving farm vehicles and machinery that can help contribute towards a net zero strategy.

This paper aims to summarize the evidence base concerning carbon storage in pasture land used for livestock production.

An opportunity to dig into how adopting more regenerative farming practices will affect your farm business”

This RASE Infographic describes how you can effectively manage soils to decarbonise and improve biodiversity on your farm. 

A fact sheet on the potential use of grass press cake as a fodder source for dairy cows.

Review by NFU into carbon calculators - available to NFU members only

This RASE infographic describes how 'the farm of the future' can implement low and zero carbon energy strategies on-farm.

Presented by Dr Pete Berry (Head of Crop Physiology, ADAS) and Laurie Abel (Agricultural Research Consultant, ADAS)

Trees – what role could they play in helping reduce emissions in our food system? Prof Heiko Balzter (University of Leicester) and one our Champions last year, has synthesised research on agroforestry in this report – Agroforestry as a tool for net zero in the UK.

Case studies from 26 farmers striving to reach net zero

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