Ensuring resources farms manage and buy in work as effectively as possible also helps lower emissions.

Part of the key performance indicators on farm includes the following advice:

  • Manure testing for nutrient status to inform application rates and timing
  • Where ever possible, cover manure stores (slurry and FYM) to reduce losses of N.
  • Ensure adequate storage of manure and slurry so that it can be applied when the crop can utilise it.
  • Use precision application to reduce losses of N to the atmosphere. Trailing shoe or injection for slurry application where possible
  • If applying manure before a cultivation event. Try to cultivate as soon as possible after application - Ideally within 4 hours.
  • Apply slurry and manure when N can be utilised by the plant - soil temperature of 10 degrees
  • Source lower emissions Nitrogen fertiliser - Ask fertiliser supplier for details of the GHG emissions intensity of production (e.g. the better fertilisers carry an emissions factor of around 3.5kg CO2e/KG N for ammonium Nitrate)
  • Increase legumes in the grass sward and in rotation to benefit from naturally fixed N - Target reductions of N to preserve legumes.
  • Minimise the amount of N fertiliser required by making use of Organic N on farm (manure testing and timing and method of applications)
  • Target applications to crop requirement and adjust according to legume and organic manures - consider how much can be utilised
  • Ensure pH is optimal (over 5.8 as a minimum, ideally over 6) to ensure N optimisation
  • Application timing - ensure soil temperatures and moisture is appropriate so N is available to the crop
  • Soil test for macro and micro nutrients - Links to animal health and soil health for productivity.
  • Test for organic matter - link to soil health and nitrogen use efficiency.
  • Soil structure and health assessment - check for compaction and other soil damage that needs remediation.
  • Reduce imported feed requirements through improved forage quality and targeted feeding.

We are working with our project farmers to review soil health, manure management and fertiliser application. Through this we can identify areas of the farm that can sequester more carbon and ensure the current carbon held within the soil is maintained through different management practices. We are also creating the opportunity to incorporate more organic nutrients back into the soil and reduce the inorganic sources of Nitrogen.