Farmers are being encouraged to use a free tool to measure and manage their business’ carbon output.
SAC Consulting, part of Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC), has launched a website for its Agrecalc tool, and producers are being urged to make use of it.
Andrew Lacey, head of SAC Consulting, said the tool should allow the industry to measure its carbon output and highlight areas for improvement.
“Future direct payments, north and south of the border, are going to be linked with lowering emissions,” said Mr Lacey.
“That means we need an accurate assessment. We think Agrecalc is part of the solution. We are going to need evidence that shows, as an industry, we are improving our environment and reducing emissions.”
Dr Harry Kamilaris from SRUC said Agrecalc was designed to help identify and measure the main sources of carbon emissions on a farm, and monitor steps taken to reduce them by benchmarking a farm against key indicators.
Information required to assess a farm’s carbon footprint includes data on crop area and stocking numbers; crop yields and output, animal weights, growth and slaughter ages and electricity and fuel use.
The tool uses the data to create a report outlining a summary of emissions per farming activity, information on the farm’s overall performance, data on how its emissions compare to other farms, and a list of ways to potentially reduce emissions.
The tool is online at agrecalc.com