ARCZero, a farmer-led European Innovation Project co-funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) and the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA), is to hold a farm walk on Tuesday, May 31, on the farm of Roger and Hilary Bell near Kells, County Antrim.
ARCZero, led by Professor John Gilliland of Devenish, is comprised of seven innovative farmers from across Northern Ireland together with academic and industry partners, including Devenish, Queen’s University, AgriSearch and Birnie Consultancy.
It has been investigating practical ways to measure, manage and reduce carbon in ruminant farming.
ARCZero has just finished creating a robust baseline of both emissions and carbon stocks and is now looking at how these farms can further reduce their emissions while increasing their carbon stocks in a manner which will accelerate their journey towards net zero.
Hosted by Roger and Hilary Bell, this will be the first in a series of farm walks which will be held in the coming months.
Roger and Hilary, who will share their journey so far, run 500 lowland and upland ewes on their 78 hectare farm, where they operate a rotational grazing system.
At the farm walk delegates will be taken round a series of stops which will include an introduction to ARCZero and the farm, a look at how the greenhouse gas emissions were benchmarked, how above and below ground carbon is measured, the use of soil nutrient and LIDAR data to optimise the use of nutrients and improve water quality.
Also discussed will be mitigation measures being adopted to lower the farm’s carbon footprint (including the use of multi-species swards) and how they use regular animal recording to make informed management decisions, which in addition to maximising farm margins gives the Bells a carbon footprint per kilogram of lamb which is significantly below the industry average.
n Speakers will include experts from Queen’s University and CAFRE.
Farm walks will leave at regular intervals in the afternoon and evening.
Everyone is welcome but pre-registration is required and can be done via the ARCZero website www.arczeroni.org
This page is available to subscribers. Click here to sign in or get access.