The agriculture sector, which is significant across the Channel area, is responsible for 23% of the greenhouse gas emissions in Cornwall and 32% in Finistère with the majority of emissions in each area being generated from livestock production.
Whilst the sequestration benefits delivered by the agricultural sector are significant in the context of climate emergency, these regions aim to become carbon neutral territories so therefore tackling carbon emissions in the dairy industry alongside increasing sequestration is a key priority.
Agriculture Bas Carbone for Dairy farms (ABCD) aims to reduce carbon impacts in the dairy industry, as it is energy-consuming and represents a great proportion of farms over the Channel area.
The project, led by Département du Finistère, will pilot a new diet for dairy cattle, using alternatives to soy meal, which is known for its highly negative carbon footprint. The project will allow for a real scientific comparison of diet practices based in rigorous methodology.
With the results captured from the pilot sites, the project will support 80 farms across Cornwall and Brittany in their green transition, through training and workshops. The project will also ensure transferability of the results through engagement with 400 farmers and links with the French Livestock Institute and four UK and French major dairy processors.
Image: Unsplash stock image, Veronica White
Partnership working across Cornwall and Brittany, France has been key to this project.
It is estimated that carbon footprint reductions at herd level of up to 10% can be delivered through changes in dairy cattle diets; so if the results are adopted by every dairy farmer in both areas a reduction in Carbon emissions of up to 10% is deemed possible. In addition, we will also be promoting methane capture technologies that enable fugitive methane emissions from slurry systems to be collected, cleaned and utilised to replace fossil fuel use.
Number of farms supported across Cornwall and Brittany.