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Carbon Footprint Reporting For Scottish Livestock Farming

Dairy cows lying down

The aim of this project is to better understand the impact livestock farming in Scotland has on the environment through its carbon footprint, and to report baseline data which can be then used to evaluate the potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through changes in management practices.

Focusing on one of the Monitor Farms in Scotland and using data supplied by QMS describing the farm management practices (stocking rates, manuring/fertiliser practices, cultivations etc.), a carbon footprint will be calculated for the farming unit (to the farm gate and taking into consideration the carbon costs of all inputs to the farm). The approach will be to simulate the net greenhouse gas emissions from the daily activities of running the farm system (energy, livestock, cropping and land management), and to express them in C equivalents.

The project will use two different approaches to estimate greenhouse gas emissions (IPCC tiers 1 3). The IPCC tier 1 approach is the basis on which the UK reports greenhouse gas emissions to the IPCC, and is based on global average default values.  The IPCC tier 3 approach uses country specific default values supplemented by emissions estimates calculated from other modelling approaches and / or detailed inventory measurements. The results will provide a breakdown of greenhouse gas emissions in relation to different farm management activities, and will provide a baseline dataset.

The project will also provide advice on management activities that could give the greatest potential for reducing overall greenhouse gas emissions. A member of the research team will present the information to the farmers at the Monitor Farm at a discussion day, and highlight areas where potential changes to the system can help the farmer reduce the carbon footprint of his farm business.

Total Funding: £8,808

Funders - Quality Meat Scotland 

Further Information

Take a look at 'Carbon footprint reporting for a Scottish livestock farm' via the Downloads link below.

Prof Bob Rees

Professor of Agriculture & Climate Change / Head of Carbon Management Centre

Address: Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC), Peter Wilson Building, Kings Buildings, West Mains Road, Edinburgh EH9 3JG.

Telephone: 0131 535 4365


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