Farm Carbon Toolkit is excited to be part of an ambitious new research project to explore the huge potential of UK-grown pulses and legumes to address the climate crisis and replace imported soya meal.
The Nitrogen Efficient Plants for Climate Smart Arable Cropping Systems (NCS) project will involve 17 industry partners and 200 UK farms in farm trials and other research to grow more pulses in the UK, reduce artificial fertiliser use, and find ways to use UK-grown pulses to reduce reliance on imported soya meal used in livestock diets.
Led by PGRO, the consortium of UK companies, research institutes and farmer networks, the research project will seek to support farmers in reducing agricultural emissions by up to 1.5Mt CO₂e per annum (or 54% of the maximum potential for UK agriculture) through increasing pulse cropping in arable rotations and substituting up to 50% of imported soya currently used in feed with more climate-friendly, home-grown pulses and legumes.
“We are delighted to be involved in the Nitrogen Efficient Plants for Climate Smart Arable Cropping Systems project, which could be a game changer for UK agriculture,”
says Liz Bowles, CEO at Farm Carbon Toolkit.
“Working with farmers to trial the latest pulse varieties and on-farm research and innovation in real-life situations, the four-year project seeks to significantly increase pulse and legume cropping areas across the UK, reducing emissions from artificial fertilisers and deforestation associated with soya production, and improving productivity and soil health on British farms.”
As project partners, Farm Carbon Toolkit will provide baseline farm carbon audits for the farms taking part in the research trials, as well as monitoring changes over the life of the programme. We will also be using the findings to inform how our Farm Carbon Calculator estimates both emissions and carbon removals associated with growing pulses and legumes within UK crop rotations.
Are you a Pulse Pioneer?
The first stage of the project will give 200 UK farmers direct support to establish their business’ carbon baseline, using our Farm Carbon Toolkit. The GHG emissions from these farms will then be tracked throughout the project and will form a fundamental part of the dataset.
Next, the leading innovators among them will be paid to work with scientists to co-design crop and feeding trials to carry out on their farms. These ‘Pulse Pioneers’ will explore ways and means for soils to thrive, crop yields to build and livestock productivity to flourish, through better use and marketing of home-grown pulses and legumes.
We’re urging interested farmers to get involved as soon as possible.
The NCS project will officially launch on the PGRO stand at this year’s Cereals Event (13-14 June), with a follow up no-obligation webinar to explain more about it and what’s on offer at 2pm on Thursday 15th June 2023.