Greenhouse gases on the agenda

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Representatives from the UFU’s Beef & Lamb, arable and dairy committees met with the NI Greenhouse Gases Implementation Partnership (GHGIP) – sub groups recently.

The GHGIP, which has been in place since 2011, is now working towards phase two of their strategy to help the agri-sector to reduce the carbon intensity of emissions from production in line with EU and UK targets. The focus of the sub groups to date has largely been looking at improving production techniques on farms using the mantra ‘efficient farming cuts greenhouse gases.’

As one of the major contributors to greenhouse gas production globally it is important that agriculture continues to assess its goals for reducing environmental impact but at the same time optimising production and profitability on farms. Some of the main themes covered include using Estimated Breeding Values with genetics, improving fertility, and efficient nutrient management practises.

It is also envisaged that the new RDP will offer schemes which will make a valuable contribution to the reduction of carbon intensity.

Schemes such as the Farm Business Investment Scheme will enable farmers to improve the equipment or facilities on farm; the Environmental Farming Scheme will focus on enhancing the physical environment on our farms; and the Business Discussion Groups and Farm Family Key Skills Scheme will offer farmers the opportunity to pick up new skills which can help advance farm management skills.