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February 2015 Farming Profitably in a Changing Climate Conference

Photos

Here is the link to the photos that we took during the day

Created with flickr slideshow.

Report from the day

To read the full report from the day please click here.

In the afternoon, the group split out into two groups, arable and livestock. Below are the main points that came out of each session

Arable session

There is a lack of independent information on cover / catch crops out there, but lots of interested farmers (especially with the new CAP and greening rules).

Best research into some of these things (for example controlled traffic farming, cover cropping and how to integrate it into a conventional system) is being conducted by interested farmers (do we need a network?).

There is a financial risk of experimentation without evidence – farmers need to inform researchers as to what information they need and provide access for field scale trial information to be tested.

Precision technology and fertiliser technology are starting to offer benefits and opportunities in terms of targeted applications, more efficient use of nutrients, and use of biological populations in soil to ensure optimal cycling of nutrients below ground.

All farms (as well as their soils) are different and so emissions reductions solutions must be adaptable to different management and biological situations

The information and data gathering that has been done, highlights how much we still don’t know.

Livestock session

There are complex biological systems that are involved with GHG emissions and there is a need for robust science to see where the benefits and drawbacks are with management

With the rise of some new technologies (for example slurry aeration) independent research is needed as to the effect of these techniques on the whole farm emissions.

There is scope to reduce emissions and costs through better use of nutrients in manures and slurries

We are not paid to grow grass, we are paid for how efficiently we convert it into meat and milk, therefore looking at grazing management and the performance of our pastures is of paramount importance

There are opportunities to reduce carbon and GHG emissions in all systems, not just intensive production

Farmers need to interact with researchers to ask the questions that they need answers to in order to gain confidence that what they are doing has benefits

In terms of carbon footprinting – it is a useful tool to benchmark the business’ performance, but don’t get too hung up on the number.