New IPCC Climate Change Mitigation Report coming monday...

Have you made steps to reduce you carbon footprint in the last 3 years?

  • Yes

  • No


Results are only viewable after voting.

Chris F

Staff Member
Media
Location
Hammerwich
Apart from reducing your nitrogen usage in 2022 ;) I be interested to know how many have actually made change to reduce your carbon footprint over the past 3 years? Feel free to add what and why below.

I always await these reports with a sense of dread for what it holds for farming. Generally because they seem to be happy for big firms to produce rubbish processed or ultra-processed foods that are bad for peoples health, as long as they buy a few offsets. They don't support sustainable farming - instead choosing to bash it. But lets see what it says:

It will appear here: https://www.ipcc.ch/report/sixth-assessment-report-working-group-3/
 

yin ewe

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
Co Antrim
Not been on a plane for over a year, not bought any electrical goods for the house, not had a new phone for over 2 years, not changed the car when it was due at 4yo (couldn't afford to). Always eat local and in season produce when available.
Finally invested over 500k in a new free range egg house because people need to eat.
 

holwellcourtfarm

Member
NFFN Member
  • Stopped buying fertiliser in 2019
  • Cut cattle numbers (less methane = huge cut according to IPCC methodology)
  • Halved road vehicle use
  • Increased pasture diversity
  • Growing more food at home
  • Video meetings instead of traveling
  • Not flown since 2017
  • Halved tractor use
  • Bought no new clothes (except underwear)
And now.....

  • Retiring to an eco-home
Not great for my contribution to GDP though :ROFLMAO:
 
Last edited:
Location
East Mids
Planted a few more trees, much more careful on journeys unless absolutely necessary. Always trying to balance cow diet/outputs/health but that can be up one year and down the next. Going clear of TB helps, not having to cull animals - such a waste.

But a lot of stuff we have been doing for years - low fert use due to lots of clover (and adjusting down for dry conditions), dribble bar slurry, calving at 2 years, planted field corner trees and gapped up hedges, etc.
 

sjt01

Member
Mixed Farmer
Location
North Norfolk
This was my entry for the Diversey #WeAreDairy sustainability competition, did not get the $10,000 (but a fellow cheesemaker in Suffolk did), but got Highly Commended

1648915177817.png


Dairy farm sustainability is not just about use of special technologies or techniques, it is about the whole approach to the farming operation as well as attention to detail on each aspect. Because of the gradual and continuous change involved, it has been hard to quantify financial benefits, but the dairy herd has moved from loss making to being profitable.

Over the past 15 years or so, we have been making steps to improve the sustainability of our operation, starting with making a proportion of the milk into cheese, then moving to a healthier herd of Brown Swiss cows, and using calf hutches to reduce calf disease.

Since these initial steps we have further developed our dairying operation:

Waste to farm-made energy:
Anaerobic digestion using manures, lower quality silage (top and sides of clamp), whey etc. Electricity to grid (about 70%), utilise as much of the heat as possible to eliminate fossil fuel heating – dairy hot water, cheesemaking heat, grain drying, 4 houses, office, workshop, cow drinking water. Producing digestate as high quality consistent fertiliser. Use of the digester reduces risk of diffuse pollution and risk of danger of damage to Stiffkey River.

Electrification to reduce fossil fuel use:
Irrigation pump (was 6 cylinder diesel, now electric), electric digestate pumping to field by underground mains avoiding road traffic, 3 electric farm cars, ride on mower, electric Gator for herding cows, electric loader for scraping out slurry.

Farm grown livestock feed:
Grow as much livestock feed as possible on farm, eliminating soya. Lucerne produces forage with protein at very low input levels. Home grown maize silage, grass silage, barley and beans. Change breed of cows to Brown Swiss for more milk from grass. Investigate growing maize and climbing beans together for higher protein. Because we can divert lower quality silages to the anaerobic digester, we can ensure the cows only get the very best quality.

Focus on sustainability through a healthy productive herd:
We operate as a team, with the herd manager, the vet and the nutritionist regularly working together to improve health and nutrition. We routinely test for diseases such as Neospora, Johne’s and mycoplasma, and vaccinate where possible to prevent diseases such as lungworm and ringworm.

Focus on sustainability through breeding:
To avoid import of disease to the farm, we have been a closed herd since moving to Brown Swiss, and have been breeding for longevity. We use sexed semen on our best cows to breed our replacement heifers, and use good beef semen on the rest of the herd which gives us good quality beef cross calves to sell to a local rearer and fattener. We also sell pedigree heifers to other herds.

Plastic reduction:
Stop buying feed and feed supplements in 20 kg bags where possible, buy in bulk or in tote bags of 1 tonne. Stop using wrapped bales for silage, use silage bunker instead. Straw baled in square bales so more can be stored under cover, the string of which can be recycled unlike round bale net wrap. Use washable udder cloths in industrial washing machine instead of disposable wipes.

Antibiotic reduction:
Use good bacteria (Pruex) to fight infectious bacteria in the dairy herd, by dosing water supply and treating cow beds. Maintain a high health status dairy herd. Use outdoor calf hutches to improve calf health.

Protect and improve soil structure through regenerative agriculture:
Use direct drilling and strip tillage, in combination with cover crops and crop rotation to conserve soil and increase soil carbon. Plough, power harrow etc. sold. Evolved our own maize drilling system over 10 years, so we can strip till into cover crops. We are trialling growing climbing beans in with the maize, to increase plant diversity and encourage insect pollinators (see above).

Emissions reduction:
Apply digestate liquid with trailing shoe tanker to reduce ammonia losses. Experimenting with treating digestate with sulphuric acid to reduce ammonia losses from digester through to soil application, not only saving ammonia emissions but also saving requirements for nitrogen fertiliser from fossil fuel.

Sustainability of the natural environment:
We work closely with the Norfolk Rivers Trust to protect and enhance the chalk stream that runs through our fields, and with the Norfolk Wildlife Trust to improve the environment for wildlife, such as developing wildlife corridors between ponds.

Extension and community outreach:
When we are not restricted by Covid, we regularly host farm tours from school parties, and groups of interested members of the public as well as other farmers, to show them what we are doing in terms of sustainability. Due to the restrictions we have had to make do with talks over Zoom.
 

Bald Rick

Moderator
Livestock Farmer
Location
Anglesey
This was my entry for the Diversey #WeAreDairy sustainability competition, did not get the $10,000 (but a fellow cheesemaker in Suffolk did), but got Highly Commended

View attachment 1026539

Dairy farm sustainability is not just about use of special technologies or techniques, it is about the whole approach to the farming operation as well as attention to detail on each aspect. Because of the gradual and continuous change involved, it has been hard to quantify financial benefits, but the dairy herd has moved from loss making to being profitable.

Over the past 15 years or so, we have been making steps to improve the sustainability of our operation, starting with making a proportion of the milk into cheese, then moving to a healthier herd of Brown Swiss cows, and using calf hutches to reduce calf disease.

Since these initial steps we have further developed our dairying operation:

Waste to farm-made energy:
Anaerobic digestion using manures, lower quality silage (top and sides of clamp), whey etc. Electricity to grid (about 70%), utilise as much of the heat as possible to eliminate fossil fuel heating – dairy hot water, cheesemaking heat, grain drying, 4 houses, office, workshop, cow drinking water. Producing digestate as high quality consistent fertiliser. Use of the digester reduces risk of diffuse pollution and risk of danger of damage to Stiffkey River.

Electrification to reduce fossil fuel use:
Irrigation pump (was 6 cylinder diesel, now electric), electric digestate pumping to field by underground mains avoiding road traffic, 3 electric farm cars, ride on mower, electric Gator for herding cows, electric loader for scraping out slurry.

Farm grown livestock feed:
Grow as much livestock feed as possible on farm, eliminating soya. Lucerne produces forage with protein at very low input levels. Home grown maize silage, grass silage, barley and beans. Change breed of cows to Brown Swiss for more milk from grass. Investigate growing maize and climbing beans together for higher protein. Because we can divert lower quality silages to the anaerobic digester, we can ensure the cows only get the very best quality.

Focus on sustainability through a healthy productive herd:
We operate as a team, with the herd manager, the vet and the nutritionist regularly working together to improve health and nutrition. We routinely test for diseases such as Neospora, Johne’s and mycoplasma, and vaccinate where possible to prevent diseases such as lungworm and ringworm.

Focus on sustainability through breeding:
To avoid import of disease to the farm, we have been a closed herd since moving to Brown Swiss, and have been breeding for longevity. We use sexed semen on our best cows to breed our replacement heifers, and use good beef semen on the rest of the herd which gives us good quality beef cross calves to sell to a local rearer and fattener. We also sell pedigree heifers to other herds.

Plastic reduction:
Stop buying feed and feed supplements in 20 kg bags where possible, buy in bulk or in tote bags of 1 tonne. Stop using wrapped bales for silage, use silage bunker instead. Straw baled in square bales so more can be stored under cover, the string of which can be recycled unlike round bale net wrap. Use washable udder cloths in industrial washing machine instead of disposable wipes.

Antibiotic reduction:
Use good bacteria (Pruex) to fight infectious bacteria in the dairy herd, by dosing water supply and treating cow beds. Maintain a high health status dairy herd. Use outdoor calf hutches to improve calf health.

Protect and improve soil structure through regenerative agriculture:
Use direct drilling and strip tillage, in combination with cover crops and crop rotation to conserve soil and increase soil carbon. Plough, power harrow etc. sold. Evolved our own maize drilling system over 10 years, so we can strip till into cover crops. We are trialling growing climbing beans in with the maize, to increase plant diversity and encourage insect pollinators (see above).

Emissions reduction:
Apply digestate liquid with trailing shoe tanker to reduce ammonia losses. Experimenting with treating digestate with sulphuric acid to reduce ammonia losses from digester through to soil application, not only saving ammonia emissions but also saving requirements for nitrogen fertiliser from fossil fuel.

Sustainability of the natural environment:
We work closely with the Norfolk Rivers Trust to protect and enhance the chalk stream that runs through our fields, and with the Norfolk Wildlife Trust to improve the environment for wildlife, such as developing wildlife corridors between ponds.

Extension and community outreach:
When we are not restricted by Covid, we regularly host farm tours from school parties, and groups of interested members of the public as well as other farmers, to show them what we are doing in terms of sustainability. Due to the restrictions we have had to make do with talks over Zoom.

We are looking at a slurry only digester but using “waste” heat for hydroponic fodder rather than as a feedstock for the AD and to grow flies for protein once it’s allowed.
Only, I am not convinced by AD due to engine life, noise and the fact that they can be time consuming to run properly.

Solar is better but needs batteries to make sense on a dairy farm where power demand is highest at Dawn and dusk.
Also looking in to a “Skybrator“ or two … but planning May be an issue and I’m not sure about likely humming
 

Bob lincs

Member
Arable Farmer
Apart from reducing your nitrogen usage in 2022 ;) I be interested to know how many have actually made change to reduce your carbon footprint over the past 3 years? Feel free to add what and why below.

I always await these reports with a sense of dread for what it holds for farming. Generally because they seem to be happy for big firms to produce rubbish processed or ultra-processed foods that are bad for peoples health, as long as they buy a few offsets. They don't support sustainable farming - instead choosing to bash it. But lets see what it says:

It will appear here: https://www.ipcc.ch/report/sixth-assessment-report-working-group-3/
Yes I have definitely reduced my carbon foot print by not going on holiday for the last few years due to covid .
 

JP1

Member
Livestock Farmer
This was my entry for the Diversey #WeAreDairy sustainability competition, did not get the $10,000 (but a fellow cheesemaker in Suffolk did), but got Highly Commended

View attachment 1026539

Dairy farm sustainability is not just about use of special technologies or techniques, it is about the whole approach to the farming operation as well as attention to detail on each aspect. Because of the gradual and continuous change involved, it has been hard to quantify financial benefits, but the dairy herd has moved from loss making to being profitable.

Over the past 15 years or so, we have been making steps to improve the sustainability of our operation, starting with making a proportion of the milk into cheese, then moving to a healthier herd of Brown Swiss cows, and using calf hutches to reduce calf disease.

Since these initial steps we have further developed our dairying operation:

Waste to farm-made energy:
Anaerobic digestion using manures, lower quality silage (top and sides of clamp), whey etc. Electricity to grid (about 70%), utilise as much of the heat as possible to eliminate fossil fuel heating – dairy hot water, cheesemaking heat, grain drying, 4 houses, office, workshop, cow drinking water. Producing digestate as high quality consistent fertiliser. Use of the digester reduces risk of diffuse pollution and risk of danger of damage to Stiffkey River.

Electrification to reduce fossil fuel use:
Irrigation pump (was 6 cylinder diesel, now electric), electric digestate pumping to field by underground mains avoiding road traffic, 3 electric farm cars, ride on mower, electric Gator for herding cows, electric loader for scraping out slurry.

Farm grown livestock feed:
Grow as much livestock feed as possible on farm, eliminating soya. Lucerne produces forage with protein at very low input levels. Home grown maize silage, grass silage, barley and beans. Change breed of cows to Brown Swiss for more milk from grass. Investigate growing maize and climbing beans together for higher protein. Because we can divert lower quality silages to the anaerobic digester, we can ensure the cows only get the very best quality.

Focus on sustainability through a healthy productive herd:
We operate as a team, with the herd manager, the vet and the nutritionist regularly working together to improve health and nutrition. We routinely test for diseases such as Neospora, Johne’s and mycoplasma, and vaccinate where possible to prevent diseases such as lungworm and ringworm.

Focus on sustainability through breeding:
To avoid import of disease to the farm, we have been a closed herd since moving to Brown Swiss, and have been breeding for longevity. We use sexed semen on our best cows to breed our replacement heifers, and use good beef semen on the rest of the herd which gives us good quality beef cross calves to sell to a local rearer and fattener. We also sell pedigree heifers to other herds.

Plastic reduction:
Stop buying feed and feed supplements in 20 kg bags where possible, buy in bulk or in tote bags of 1 tonne. Stop using wrapped bales for silage, use silage bunker instead. Straw baled in square bales so more can be stored under cover, the string of which can be recycled unlike round bale net wrap. Use washable udder cloths in industrial washing machine instead of disposable wipes.

Antibiotic reduction:
Use good bacteria (Pruex) to fight infectious bacteria in the dairy herd, by dosing water supply and treating cow beds. Maintain a high health status dairy herd. Use outdoor calf hutches to improve calf health.

Protect and improve soil structure through regenerative agriculture:
Use direct drilling and strip tillage, in combination with cover crops and crop rotation to conserve soil and increase soil carbon. Plough, power harrow etc. sold. Evolved our own maize drilling system over 10 years, so we can strip till into cover crops. We are trialling growing climbing beans in with the maize, to increase plant diversity and encourage insect pollinators (see above).

Emissions reduction:
Apply digestate liquid with trailing shoe tanker to reduce ammonia losses. Experimenting with treating digestate with sulphuric acid to reduce ammonia losses from digester through to soil application, not only saving ammonia emissions but also saving requirements for nitrogen fertiliser from fossil fuel.

Sustainability of the natural environment:
We work closely with the Norfolk Rivers Trust to protect and enhance the chalk stream that runs through our fields, and with the Norfolk Wildlife Trust to improve the environment for wildlife, such as developing wildlife corridors between ponds.

Extension and community outreach:
When we are not restricted by Covid, we regularly host farm tours from school parties, and groups of interested members of the public as well as other farmers, to show them what we are doing in terms of sustainability. Due to the restrictions we have had to make do with talks over Zoom.
Very impressive
 

onesiedale

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
Derbyshire
Haven't really made the changes with carbon specifically in mind, but the whole system has turned out much more resilliant;

cows 100% grass fed, no supplements.
milking OAD
spring block calving
biggest investment has been electric wire and water pipe (best invesments come on a roll!)
greatly reduced fert use already, so this year there's no going cold turkey on the grassland if it goes without fert.
drilling herbal leys after winter fodder crops
last year tried a lot of round hay bales outside for winter fodder - pleased with lack of waste 👍
adding value to milk on farm and serving a local market.
sunk a farm borehole for water (no brainer)
 

sjt01

Member
Mixed Farmer
Location
North Norfolk
We are looking at a slurry only digester but using “waste” heat for hydroponic fodder rather than as a feedstock for the AD and to grow flies for protein once it’s allowed.
Only, I am not convinced by AD due to engine life, noise and the fact that they can be time consuming to run properly.

Solar is better but needs batteries to make sense on a dairy farm where power demand is highest at Dawn and dusk.
Also looking in to a “Skybrator“ or two … but planning May be an issue and I’m not sure about likely humming
Solar for daytime, biogas for night and heating. It took a while to get ours to work reliably, but the engine has done over 95,000 hours now.
 

Cowabunga

Member
Location
Ceredigion,Wales
What's your evidence for that please?
Basic biology. The content of the atmosphere is so low in CO2 that any significant decrease would see plant growth stunted and past a certain point, and there’s not much percentage to play with, plant life would begin to decline catastrophically. There is a reason why greenhouses buy and pump CO2 in to enrich the atmosphere inside and it’s to do with increasing output of produce. The reverse is equally true and less CO2 means less plant growth. This is not debatable, it's an undisputable fact.
 

holwellcourtfarm

Member
NFFN Member
Basic biology. The content of the atmosphere is so low in CO2 that any significant decrease would see plant growth stunted and past a certain point, and there’s not much percentage to play with, plant life would begin to decline catastrophically. There is a reason why greenhouses buy and pump CO2 in to enrich the atmosphere inside and it’s to do with increasing output of produce. The reverse is equally true and less CO2 means less plant growth. This is not debatable, it's an undisputable fact.
Agreed.

Levels now are over 1/3 more than 150 years ago though. Are you saying that all plants grew much slower then?

I suspect atmospheric CO² would have to drop very considerably before it became the limiting issue.

Commercial greenhouses are a special case because they optimise every input, not just CO².

Also, beyond about 25⁰C most of our temperate plants stop photosynthesis. Rising temperatures threaten crop production here way more unless we all switch to tropical crops....
 

Oldmacdonald

Member
Mixed Farmer
Location
Scotland
  • Stopped buying fertiliser in 2019
  • Cut cattle numbers (less methane = huge cut according to IPCC methodology)
  • Halved road vehicle use
  • Increased pasture diversity
  • Growing more food at home
  • Video meetings instead of traveling
  • Not flown since 2017
  • Halved tractor use
  • Bought no new clothes (except underwear)
And now.....

  • Retiring to an eco-home
Not great for my contribution to GDP though :ROFLMAO:

Have you bought a new place then?
 

C.J

Member
Location
South Devon
Agreed.

Levels now are over 1/3 more than 150 years ago though. Are you saying that all plants grew much slower then?

I suspect atmospheric CO² would have to drop very considerably before it became the limiting issue.

Commercial greenhouses are a special case because they optimise every input, not just CO².

Also, beyond about 25⁰C most of our temperate plants stop photosynthesis. Rising temperatures threaten crop production here way more unless we all switch to tropical crops....
1648972614397.png


The NASA vegetation index is obtained from satellite images and suggests that the earth is greening as CO2 in the atmosphere rises.


Have a look at the CO2 coalition's climate facts.

The most interesting fact for us farmers is that as CO2 rises,plants become more efficient,and can make their sugars faster, so that their pores spend more time closed and therefore lose less water and don't wilt.This goes a long way to explain the above greening.
 

Cowabunga

Member
Location
Ceredigion,Wales
Agreed.

Levels now are over 1/3 more than 150 years ago though. Are you saying that all plants grew much slower then?

I suspect atmospheric CO² would have to drop very considerably before it became the limiting issue.

Commercial greenhouses are a special case because they optimise every input, not just CO².

Also, beyond about 25⁰C most of our temperate plants stop photosynthesis. Rising temperatures threaten crop production here way more unless we all switch to tropical crops....
When you say that it is ⅓ more than 150 years ago it should be in the context of total atmospheric content. ⅓ of near f-all is still near f-all.
 

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Man fined £300 for bonfire-related waste offences

  • 247
  • 0
Written by William Kellett from Agriland

court-640x360.jpg
A man has pleaded guilty at Newtownards Magistrates’ Court to waste offences relating to a bonfire next to the electrical sub-station on the Circular Road in Newtownards, Co. Down.

Gareth Gill (51) of Abbot’s Walk, Newtownards pleaded guilty to two charges under the Waste and Contaminated Land (Northern Ireland) Order 1997, for which he was fined £150 each and ordered to pay a £15 offender’s levy

On June 25, 2018, PSNI officers went to Gill’s yard, where they found a large amount of waste consisting of scrap wood, pallets, carpet and underlay.

Discussion with Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA) officers confirmed the site...
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