English farmers make good progress on GHG emissions, says report

England’s agriculture industry has made great strides in reducing its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, according to a new report published yesterday (9 May).

The Greenhouse Gas Action Plan’s (GHGAP) first progress report to government stated that plans for the provision of an innovative pilot Farm Efficiency Hub – an electronic library service to support farm advisers, farmers and land managers – are advancing.

The partnership also revealed plans for the next phase Delivery Plan, which features 25 key actions through to 2015. These include close attention to the planning of livestock health and nutrition.

NFU vice-president and GHGAP co-chairman Adam Quinney said: “Improving efficiency, producing more with fewer resources and lower emissions is good news for farm businesses and the environment.

“During the next phase of delivery, we want to work with government to identify robust indicators of progress. Farmers and land managers need to be confident that their changes in farm practice are leading to lower emissions.”

Ian Crute, AHDB chief scientist, added: “The great diversity of farming systems that exist in England means there is no one-size-fits-all solution to GHG emissions reduction. However, our consortium has set out to work together to deliver consistent and integrated information to farmers and their advisers; we believe we are having success and that, with the right resources, the pilot Farm Efficiency Hub will be at the centre of our longer-term ambitions.”

England’s agriculture industry is aiming to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by three million tonnes of CO2 equivalents by the third carbon budget period, without compromising domestic production.

The GHGAP was formed to unite the industry on key areas, which will have a positive effect on GHG emissions and farm productivity. Agricultural levy bodies, the supply industry and advisory bodies are all collaborating to provide farmers with knowledge, tools, services and contacts to acheive emisssions reductions.