Dairy farmer turns to sequestration for carbon removal

Farming in particular releases significant amounts of two greenhouse gases, methane and nitrous oxide.  Methane is produced by livestock during digestion due to enteric fermentation and is released via belches. It can also escape from stored manure and organic waste in landfills.  Nitrous oxide emissions are an indirect product of organic and mineral nitrogen fertilizers. 

Agriculture accounted for 10% of the EU’s total greenhouse-gas emissions in 2012 – although decline in livestock numbers, more efficient application of fertilizers, and better manure management reduced EU emissions from agriculture by 24% between 1990 and 2012. 

Methods to further reduce greenhouse-gas emissions linked to food production in the EU have been proposed, including a better integration of innovative techniques into production methods - such as capturing methane from manure, more efficient use of fertilizers, and greater efficiency in dairy production (i.e. reducing emissions per unit of food produced). 

In addition to such efficiency gains, changes to consumption can help to further lower greenhouse-gas emissions linked to food.

The UK agricultural sector has committed to a reduction of 3m tonnes of CO2​e by 2020.  

Neil Dyson, at Holly Green Farm, Aylesbury, has a herd of 500 Holstein cows, each producing an average of 9,000 liters of milk a year.  As part of his commitment to climate change, Neil is a keen advocate of sequestration. 

One of agriculture’s major opportunities to help mitigate the effects of climate-warming gases lies in management of soil to increase organic content, thereby removing carbon from the atmosphere. 

Source link