By Will Frazer
23rd May 2021
We recently hosted our Northern Ireland #RoutestoAction workshop, which explored opportunities for farm carbon auditing and its contribution to sustainability in the agricultural sector drawing on four pioneering projects in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. The #RoutestoAction series aims to help build the evidence, ideas and community of practice for a transition to agroecology in the UK by 2030 - and we have been joined by a fantastic mix of hundreds of farmers, academics, NGOs, Government and members of civil society discussing Farm Carbon: measuring and managing.
The session, was chaired by Patrick Casement (FFCC Northern Ireland Inquiry Chair) with presentations from speakers Dr John Gilliland OBE (ArcZero), Aleathea Brown (CAFRE), Phil Carson (RSPB), Dr Dario Fornara (AFBI) covering a huge amount of ground in 90 minutes, including:
This blog shares some of the evidence and ideas gathered from the panel speakers and the audience’s comments and questions. We will use this material to inform the second phase of our Farming for Change research, due to be shared in the autumn alongside the final technical modelling paper from IDDRI – Modelling an agroecological UK in 2050.
On Farm Carbon Audits – Phil Carson RSPB
CAFRE Carbon Technology Projects - Aleathea Brown, CAFRE
Farm Carbon: Measuring & Managing - John Gilliland, Devenish and ARC Zero
[Slide at 48.10]
Soil Carbon: Measuring and Managing: Dr Dario Fornara, Agriculture and Biosciences Institute (AFBI)
Comments and questions from the audience
"Surely there needs to be one measuring tool so that all the results are comparable across the country." Frase Bush
"Recent research shows that significant amounts of methane are also produced by trees. Why does this not figure in any of the current assessments?" Bill Grayson
"What might be future mitigation options for already high-performing beef and sheep farm?" Alan Matthews
"How will the carbon storage and sequestration in trees and hedgerows eventually be measured?" Perla
"What do you suggest we do with the surplus manure generated by the 2/3 million tonne of grain imported to Northern Ireland each year to supply the intensive farms?" William Taylor