Farmers confused about carbon cutting

Almost one in three farmers (30%) don’t think it’s important to consider greenhouse gases when making decisions about their crops, land and livestock. That’s worrying. Some 6% said they didn’t think their farm produced any GHGs.

More encouraging is the fact that 66% are taking actions to reduce their emissions, according to the government’s latest results from its so-called indicator framework for agriculture in England.

The framework has been tracking progress in reducing GHGs from the sector since 2013. Emissions from agriculture have in recent years proved hard to cut.

Most of the GHG-reducing actions relate to recycling waste materials, improving fertiliser application accuracy and energy efficiency. Money saving was the most-cited reason for curbing emissions, followed by regulation and ‘meeting market demands’.

Some 42% of the 2,450 farmers who responded to the survey in 2020 didn’t believe any action to reduce GHGs was needed – slightly down on the previous year. Of these 16% thought there wasn’t much they could do, while 13% felt they’d done enough.

However, the main barrier to inaction appears to be knowledge: 39% cited ‘lack of clarity about what to do’, while 35% complained there was a lack of information available to them.

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