Over 150 people joined the latest “Focus on Farmers” webinar on Monday 21st September to hear Dr John Gilliland from Devenish Nutrition speak alongside ambassador farmers James Evans and Sam Chesney in the fourth episode of the EIT Food series.

LIDAR

The event focused on accelerating the journey towards achieving net zero carbon beef production. Sam Chesney from County Down opened the meeting by detailing the steps he has taken to reduce his carbon output on his beef farm, including the selection of high genetic breeding bulls to enhance net food efficiency, and other mitigation methods such as encouraging taller growth of hedgerows and feeding homegrown protein sources to cattle.

Following this, John Gilliland delivered a presentation on how carbon has been measured on the Devenish Estate in Dowth, Co. Meath through the use of various innovation technologies in order to implement different mitigation strategies. He described the use of LiDAR technology and GPS mapping and how this has benefitted in setting baselines to measure the progress in the attempt to reduce carbon output on the estate. John highlighted the importance of recording and reporting the net farm GHG emissions rather than the gross emissions that are typically reported.

James Evans shared the results of the carbon calculations carried out on his farm in Shropshire in February 2020, again highlighting the importance of recording the carbon sequestration on farm. He detailed how he aims to reduce his carbon footprint though various aspects of organic beef production.

Professor Nigel Scollan from QUB rounded up the event by delivering some take-home messages to the audience, driving home the need for measuring carbon output and sequestration, stating “If we cannot measure things we cannot change”, before introducing the remaining two events. The next of which will look at One Health and Animal Welfare and will be held on Monday 5th October at 8pm. You can register for the Zoom event here: https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_EpcJTfbbS6OnlsKI5mvWDA

To watch the recording event, you can access it on the AgriSearch YouTube channel -