Carbon-cutting farm project gets underway
Published: 15th October 2021
Cornwall’s pioneering agricultural research and education facility at Duchy College Stoke Climsland has kick-started its first international carbon-cutting project.
Working with Cornwall Council, local farmers, the council of Finistère and Trévarez Research Station in Brittany, France, the research team at Duchy College’s Future Farm will look at ways of reducing the carbon footprint of dairy farming in Cornwall and across the Channel.
The project took its first major leap forward last week when a delegation representing Département du Finistère, and leading farming research organisations from the region, visited Future Farm to see the leading research facility in person.
Paul Ward, farm research manager at Duchy College’s Rural Business School (RBS), commented: “It is incredibly exciting to be embarking on this project with colleagues across the Channel to further the Cornwall-Finistère cooperation.
“We have spent three days showing our French research partners around Future Farm, where most of the research will take place, as well as some of the local farms we work with.
“At a time when climate change is so firmly part of the international agenda, it’s incredibly exciting to be working on projects such as this that will make a meaningful and lasting difference to cutting carbon emissions and increasing carbon capture in agriculture, both here in the UK and now around the world.
“And what makes it even more important, is that our students at Duchy College will not only have access to the research – they will be placed at the heart of it. Which means we are creating a legacy that will see cutting-edge research put into practice for generations to come, helping to make farming more sustainable for the future.”
The ABCD (Agriculture Bas Carbone Dairy) project, which is funded by the European Regional Development Fund, is going to mainly focus around reducing methane produced by dairy cattle, zoning in particularly on the food they are fed, and the carbon footprint of getting it to the farm.
From this, the team at RBS want to calculate the net emissions that the herd are producing, monitored from cutting-edge sensors placed around the farm and on the cows themselves.
The project will also run ‘knowledge transfer’ events to assist Cornish dairy farmers to reduce the carbon footprint of their farms.
Gaïd Carval, Finistère/Cornwall cooperation officer and part of the delegation from France commented: “We are happy to be working with Duchy College on this exciting project. By sharing our expertise and working together, we hope to make a real difference in giving new solutions to dairy farmers to reduce their carbon footprint.”