Farming carbon was a hot topic at the Low Carbon Agriculture show held online on the 9th and 10th of March, where carbon was discussed as a new ‘crop’ for land managers. 

“Carbon will be a new income stream to build into farm businesses,” said Stephen Briggs, head of soil and water at Innovation for Agriculture speaking in the Carbon Storage and Management conference session.

Also speaking at the show, Mark Broadmeadow, the Forestry Commission’s principal advisor on climate change, said that planting trees needs to fit in with the farm business and if creating woodland with the ambition of selling carbon on the open market, it’s important to register with the Woodland Carbon Code (WCC) at the beginning so you can secure benefits in future. “Through the Woodland Carbon Guarantee, the government guarantees a minimum price that it will pay successful bidders, but there is no obligation for the contract holder to sell to government if the open market will pay more.”

“Or you may wish to use the carbon for your own business emissions accounting,” said Mark.

Jonathan Smith, director at the Farm Carbon Toolkit, said that getting ahead and understanding where your footprint is now is crucial. “You can’t manage what you don’t measure and carbon footprinting your farm allows you to see it from a different perspective."

The Low Carbon Agriculture show online was held in association with the National Farmers Union and supported by key organisations from across the sector. David Jacobmeyer, show organiser, said: “The audience was nearly entirely (95%) made up of agricultural and rural business owners, interested in renewables, environmental best practice and mitigating climate change.”

Stuart Roberts, NFU Deputy President was a panellist in the lively ‘Reaching Net Zero in Agriculture’ debate and was positive about the show. “Like others I thought it was an excellent session and the retention of viewers was really good. We have all done these things where the audience numbers start to drift off after a while. Really well chaired and organised and thanks for letting us be part of it.”

The online event took place over two days on 9 and 10 March 2021, and included four key areas of focus: Energy Now Expo, Environmental Business Expo, Low Emission Vehicles Expo and Farm Technology Expo. The event featured 72 expert speakers, 30 exhibitors, 20 live sessions, 5 pre-recorded sessions and 7 group advice clinics.

The next Low Carbon Agriculture show will be a physical event and will take place on 8 and 9 March 2022 at the National Agriculture and Exhibition Centre (NAEC), Stoneleigh, Warwickshire.