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Productivity and Efficiency

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One crucial step in reducing emissions is to consider farm productivity and efficiency.

If you can produce more whilst emitting less you could save costs as well as reducing the carbon footprint of the farm business.
Farm-level emissions come from a range of sources, including:
  • Use of fossil fuels
  • Manufactured inputs
  • Manure
  • Animal digestion processes
  • Cultivation of soils
  • Changes in land use and vegetation

A carbon audit  will help you to identify your emission sources. You can then decide how you might be able to limit these while maintaining the productivity of your business.

Soil Heath

Carbon can be stored in soil as soil organic matter (SOM). Farming practices which preserve and enhance levels of SOM contribute to the fight against climate change by reducing carbon emissions from soil and sequestering carbon from the atmosphere.

SOM also contributes to soil fertility, which may increase yields and forage quality as well as reducing reliance on costly inputs.

Nutrient Use

Efficient nutrient use on both arable and livestock farms can reduce reliance on manufactured fertiliser, the production of which has a large carbon footprint, and minimise the risk of emissions from manure and other organic fertilisers.

Tried & Tested provide guidance on effective Nutrient Management Planning from the industry, to the industry.

Energy Efficiency

As so many energy production methods using fossil fuels emit GHGs into the atmosphere, a farm which uses less energy will create fewer emissions.

There are many simple steps you can take on farm to make your energy use more efficient and reduce associated emissions, including reviewing how and when you heat and light your farm buildings, your use of field machinery and where your energy comes from.

The Farm Carbon Toolkit offers some great pointers for all farms, as well as advice by farming sector.

NFU Energy also offer advice and services to help farmers buy, generate and save energy.

Becky Wilson, Project Officer for the Farm Carbon Cutting Toolkit, outlines the first steps to 'improving efficiency, profitability and sustainability through reducing farm emissions' in her blog for Agricology.

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