Sub-forum move request

Highland Mule

Member
Livestock Farmer
Given that the evidence is clear that UK livestock farming is a net consumer of carbon, should the livestock section not be moved to be under the 'Conservation Agriculture' banner? It's arguably far more sustainable than the chemical fertiliser utilising, direct drilled arable that has claimed the title !
 

Clive

Staff Member
BASE UK Member
Location
Lichfield
Given that the evidence is clear that UK livestock farming is a net consumer of carbon, should the livestock section not be moved to be under the 'Conservation Agriculture' banner? It's arguably far more sustainable than the chemical fertiliser utilising, direct drilled arable that has claimed the title !
Pasture Fed Livestock maybe

chickens in big sheds eating imported feed or intensive beef maybe not so

The forum section is called “conservation ag and direct drilling” there are livestock based threads in there
 
Pasture Fed Livestock maybe

chickens in big sheds eating imported feed or intensive beef maybe not so

The forum section is called “conservation ag and direct drilling” there are livestock based threads in there
You might be a bit surprised to find there is plenty of data to show that intensive broiler chickens are the most carbon efficient of all livestock production. I know I was.
Followed a quite a bit behind by intensive pigs, with beef and sheep a long way behind them.
Follows the ability to breed for ever more efficiency.
I know it doesn’t suit what many might like to hear but it is true.
 

Clive

Staff Member
BASE UK Member
Location
Lichfield
So imported feed is a negative for sustainability but you don't include the use of imported artifical fertiliser and other chemicals when calculating your own carbon balance - how do you square that circle @Clive ?
manufacture of inputs bought to the farm is on manufacture balance sheet, use of such products sit on the farms

subtle but important differnce
 

Highland Mule

Member
Livestock Farmer
manufacture of inputs bought to the farm is on manufacture balance sheet, use of such products sit on the farms

subtle but important differnce
Important for you selling your goods, but somewhat disingenuous for the ultimate consumer that the figures don't reflect the whole picture. Taking your counting system to extreme, the best thing for the environment would be to run a landfill site.
 

Clive

Staff Member
BASE UK Member
Location
Lichfield
You might be a bit surprised to find there is plenty of data to show that intensive broiler chickens are the most carbon efficient of all livestock production. I know I was.
Followed a quite a bit behind by intensive pigs, with beef and sheep a long way behind them.
Follows the ability to breed for ever more efficiency.
I know it doesn’t suit what many might like to hear but it is true.

Chicken is efficient meat, VERY efficient in fact in terms of land use and low loss of Kcal vs just eating the grain ( eating the grain is better however in that respect )

but please explain how intensive poultry sequest carbon ?
 

Clive

Staff Member
BASE UK Member
Location
Lichfield
Important for you selling your goods, but somewhat disingenuous for the ultimate consumer that the figures don't reflect the whole picture. Taking your counting system to extreme, the best thing for the environment would be to run a landfill site.
so taking your way of doing this to the extreme you think Yara has a zero carbon footprint (Europes biggest buyer of gas) ? ................. because their production is the farmer's fault?

In which case, being consistent, I will pass my entire carbon footprint on to my merchant ............... who will pass it to the mill............... who will pass it to the consumer................ who REALLY is responsible but has no control, or and little influence on the process involved to getting goods and services to them


I don't care how you want to account for it, but accounts MUST be consistent, ie yara pass it to me, I pass it to my customer OR we can just all be responsible for what our business directly emmits
 
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Highland Mule

Member
Livestock Farmer
so taking your way of doing this to the extreme you think Yara has a zero carbon footprint (Europes biggest buyer of gas) ? ................. because their production is the farmer's fault?

In which case, being consistent, I will pass my entire carbon footprint on to my merchant ............... who will pass it to the mill............... who will pass it to the consumer................ who REALLY is responsible but has no control, or and little influence on the process involved to getting goods and services to them


I don't care how you want to account for it, but accounts MUST be consistent, ie yara pass it to me, I pass it to my customer OR we can just all be responsible for what our business directly emmits
Yes, I agree entirely that is what should be done - the demand is driven by the consumer, and we wouldn't grow stuff if they didn't want to buy it. The footprint needs to lie with the ultimate user of said produce and they need clarity so can make responsible choices from a position of full knowledge. Organic doesn't use any YARA produce, so clearly is less damaging from that perspective and all else being equal (which it isn't - they will use more diesel per tonne of crop I imagine). How else can we drill down (excuse the pun) to the least damaging foodstuffs and other consumer goods if we don't apportion the costs correctly? Flying avacados half way round the world should definitely be seen as having a greater footprint than pasture fed organic welsh lamb.
 

Clive

Staff Member
BASE UK Member
Location
Lichfield
Yes, I agree entirely that is what should be done - the demand is driven by the consumer, and we wouldn't grow stuff if they didn't want to buy it. The footprint needs to lie with the ultimate user of said produce and they need clarity so can make responsible choices from a position of full knowledge. Organic doesn't use any YARA produce, so clearly is less damaging from that perspective and all else being equal (which it isn't - they will use more diesel per tonne of crop I imagine). How else can we drill down (excuse the pun) to the least damaging foodstuffs and other consumer goods if we don't apportion the costs correctly? Flying avacados half way round the world should definitely be seen as having a greater footprint than pasture fed organic welsh lamb.

it will ultimately lie with end-user as they will, pay the carbon tax

to incentivize the steps in the process before them to do better you tax their part of the process as if you simply allow them to pass it on why will they ever bother trying to improve? ie if Yat=ra can just pass synthetic N production C to a farmer why should they care how much they produce? likewise, why would we as farmers care if we can also pass it on to the merchant etc ?
 

Highland Mule

Member
Livestock Farmer
it will ultimately lie with end-user as they will, pay the carbon tax

to incentivize the steps in the process before them to do better you tax their part of the process as if you simply allow them to pass it on why will they ever bother trying to improve? ie if Yat=ra can just pass synthetic N production C to a farmer why should they care how much they produce? likewise, why would we as farmers care if we can also pass it on to the merchant etc ?
Because the consumer is the one who holds the purse strings. Change will be driven by money, and that has to trickle down to the ones who hurt and up to the ones who benefit.

As it stands, the more artificial fertiliser you can use to sequestrate some nominal carbon amount the better - how is that sustainable? Better that the system rewards those farmers who achieve more for less impact and penalises those that don't.
 

Clive

Staff Member
BASE UK Member
Location
Lichfield
Because the consumer is the one who holds the purse strings. Change will be driven by money, and that has to trickle down to the ones who hurt and up to the ones who benefit.

As it stands, the more artificial fertiliser you can use to sequestrate some nominal carbon amount the better - how is that sustainable? Better that the system rewards those farmers who achieve more for less impact and penalises those that don't.

exactly - so carbon tax (if / when it happens) will make products more expensive, especially the most polluting ones. As I say how you account for carbon doesn't matter as long as there is consistency - I'm happy to take Yara's C as long as my customers will take mine, etc, equally I'm happy to only account for the C directly produced by my business and let other parts of the chain do the same

Like VAT, however, I'm not sure a C tax that should be placed on a necessity like food but reserved for the things people can choose to go without, like air travel etc ?

Money collected by C tax can be used to clean up / pay for sequestration etc or offset by directly paying for sequestration and clean up - this is the opportunity for farmers, no one is going to fix this problem for free !
 

Highland Mule

Member
Livestock Farmer
exactly - so carbon tax (if / when it happens) will make products more expensive, especially the most polluting ones. As I say how you account for carbon doesn't matter as long as there is consistency - I'm happy to take Yara's C as long as my customers will take mine, etc, equally I'm happy to only account for the C directly produced by my business and let other parts of the chain do the same

Like VAT, however, I'm not sure a C tax that should be placed on a necessity like food but reserved for the things people can choose to go without, like air travel etc ?

Money collected by C tax can be used to clean up / pay for sequestration etc or offset by directly paying for sequestration and clean up - this is the opportunity for farmers, no one is going to fix this problem for free !
But people should surely pay more for polluting food like you produce and less for the genuine carbon sequestration stuff that I do, I’d argue. If you leave Yara to account for their carbon, then neither of us has any incentive to do better. The real cost needs to filter down to the consumer or else we aren’t fooling anyone.
 

Clive

Staff Member
BASE UK Member
Location
Lichfield
But people should surely pay more for polluting food like you produce and less for the genuine carbon sequestration stuff that I do, I’d argue. If you leave Yara to account for their carbon, then neither of us has any incentive to do better. The real cost needs to filter down to the consumer or else we aren’t fooling anyone.

depend on which of the 2 accounting models you adopt - on the model where we all take responsibility for the carbon we produce the I'm negative and have the stuff to sell

if you are "more" negative then great - you have more C seq to sell, than me ................. get on and get it sold, its worth money already and that's before we get a C tax


Yara need an incentive to do better and reduce their C footprint, develop alternative solutions etc - if they start getting taxed they will have one


cost need to hit such manufacturers IMO more than it does consumers if we really want to change - people don't change lifestyle as easy as business adopts new technologies and production systems
 

Highland Mule

Member
Livestock Farmer
depend on which of the 2 accounting models you adopt - on the model where we all take responsibility for the carbon we produce the I'm negative and have the stuff to sell

if you are "more" negative then great - you have more C seq to sell, than me ................. get on and get it sold, its worth money already and that's before we get a C tax


Yara need an incentive to do better and reduce their C footprint, develop alternative solutions etc - if they start getting taxed they will have one
Always easier to blame the supplier...
The problem in the planet is excess consumption driving the production, not v/v., but hey, if it helps to salve your concience for buying, making and selling more of the bad stuff, that's all good for you.
 

Clive

Staff Member
BASE UK Member
Location
Lichfield
Always easier to blame the dealer...
The problem in the planet is excess consumption driving the production, not v/v.

Frankly, the problem is too many people on the planet, I don't think it can actually be fixed

I'm not sure anyone offering a 5 trillion cull is going to gain many votes however


all we can do is buy time I guess
 

Highland Mule

Member
Livestock Farmer
Frankly, the problem is too many people on the planet, I don't think it can actually be fixed

I'm not sure anyone offering a 5 trillion cull is going to gain many votes however


all we can do is buy time I guess
Can't disagree with that.

Ironically, the one or two countries that take that seriously are those that we criticise.
 

Clive

Staff Member
BASE UK Member
Location
Lichfield
Can't disagree with that.

Ironically, the one or two countries that take that seriously are those that we criticise.
the buying time bit is important


I suspect nature will sort this all out eventually, covid was a close shave/warning shot really IMO - imagine if the next version of it has a mortality rate of 10. 20 or even 50% ! Frankly it's no longer a case of "if" but "when"
 
Chicken is efficient meat, VERY efficient in fact in terms of land use and low loss of Kcal vs just eating the grain ( eating the grain is better however in that respect )

but please explain how intensive poultry sequest carbon ?
They don't of course, but as far as I am aware, in livestock only well managed mob grazing systems can make any claim to sequester carbon, more common set stocking definitely not.
Keeping a cow (in a single suckler system) a whole year to produce one calf is sadly rather resource inefficient.
 

Highland Mule

Member
Livestock Farmer
They don't of course, but as far as I am aware, in livestock only well managed mob grazing systems can make any claim to sequester carbon, more common set stocking definitely not.
Keeping a cow (in a single suckler system) a whole year to produce one calf is sadly rather resource inefficient.
Interesting thoughts. On an extensively grazed, heather covered hill, exactly what resources are being inefficiently used? and what else could they be used for aside from sheep and native bred cattle?
 

Rejuvenating swards: Which option is best?

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Written by Brian McDonnell

Maintaining grass quality during mid-season grazing is important. Farmers can maintain quality by entering ideal grazing covers of 1,300 – 1,500kg DM/ha, and grazing down to a residual of 4cm every rotation.

If you are now in a situation where cows are not cleaning out paddocks as well as they should be, leading to the development of steamy grass within the sward, here are some options.

Common options for rejuvenating swards include:

  1. Take a silage cut, probably into bales, remove the material and start again with the aftermath...
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