We recently took part in a study carried out by Indigro (a team of independent agronomists) who used the Cool Farm Tool (a carbon calculator) on 40 farms[JW1] to compare our carbon emissions and understand what drove the results, in order to help us lower our footprint and farm more efficiently and sympathetically.
We carried the study out on 4 fields across the farm, encompassing all the crops grown for that year.
Cool Farm Tool looks at:
· Yield of each crop
· Soil sample results (showing the nutrients within the soil)
· The inputs on each field (fertiliser and crop protection products)
· Energy usage (through machinery passes, transport of the fertiliser to the farm, and transport of the grain to store)
Once we input all the data for each field, the cool farm tool calculates the carbon footprint on both a per hectare basis and per tonne of crop produced. Indigro then looked at the results from all the farms taking part and produced reports showing where we sat amongst these. This allowed us to gain insight into what we can do to minimise our carbon output and achieve best practice.
This is the second time Indigro have carried out this report. Last year 16 farms took part; this year it was 40 farms. It is really interesting seeing our results from last year vs this year now we have implemented some of the changes. Last year our Winter Wheat, for example, had a measurement of 1.57 tonnes of CO2/ha, compared to this year of 1.41 tonnes of CO2/ha.
It was great to have so many keen and engaging farmers talking about this important topic together and we were pleased to host the report presentation at Courteenhall Estate.