CLIMATE change and how it affects farming was the topic of an on-line event held by the Penrith-based Farmer Network.

'Managing Carbon on our Farms' attracted widespread interest from the farming community and industry advisors.

Speaker, Country Land and Business Association Advisor, Alice Richie discussed climate change and how this affects farming through high rainfall events and drought. She also touched on changes in diet, the growth of veganism and reduction in meat consumption. The amount of Green House Gases (GHG) emitted by agriculture is 14.5 percent globally but only 10 percent of UK emissions and Alice went on to explain the ways in which farming can achieve net zero by 2050. This includes increasing efficiency, planting more trees and hedgerows, along with grazing management. There may also be opportunities for farmers to offer carbon off-setting to large businesses such as the airline industry.

The second speaker Becky Willson of the Farm Carbon Toolkit explained how the Toolkit works for measuring carbon and other Greenhouse Gas emissions on-farm. Livestock farmers can reduce their carbon emissions by increasing animal performance e.g. through improving feed conversion rates, soil and fertiliser management and decreasing fuel use such as using minimum tillage. She stressed that the key to improving carbon storage is through increasing soil organic matter, retaining permanent pasture using over-seeding to improve grasses and introducing legumes such as clover.

Questions and comments included a discussion about regenerative agriculture and the potential for farmers to be paid for increasing the carbon stored in soils.