Carbon Footprinting Earns Professional Development Points for Dairy Farmers
Alltech E-CO2, the UK’s leading provider of on-farm environmental and carbon assessments, has teamed up with Dairy Pro, the professional development register for the dairy industry, to award points to farmers who undertake a Dairy EA™ environmental assessment.
Dairy Pro’s Helen Brookes said she’s delighted that Alltech E-CO2 has joined as Dairy Pro’s latest training partner because of the close correlation between low carbon footprints and efficient use of farm resources.
“Carbon footprinting is targeted at lowering greenhouse gas emissions but it also requires the farmer to scrutinise physical performance and outputs against inputs,” she said. “This usually highlights a number of opportunities to reduce costs.
“So we’re very pleased that BASIS, the body administering the Dairy Pro scheme, has agreed to award three points each and every time a farmer goes through the Alltech E-CO2 assessment process, which is annually.”
James Wynne, head of farm and consultancy services for Alltech E-CO2, said having three Dairy Pro points allocated to assessments underlines the wider value that carbon footprinting delivers.
“The process is thorough, taking in sales and purchases, productivity, rumen efficiency, replacement rates, feed, water, bedding, fertiliser and energy use,” he explains. “Out of this an incredibly useful report is generated. It calculates emissions per litre of milk produced, but more importantly, pinpoints hot spots such as over-reliance on bought-in feeds, weaknesses in fertility performance, sub-optimal soil nutrient management and the effectiveness of the herd health plan.
“The efficiency benefit of, for example, low herd replacement rates or using sexed semen, will also be flagged, whereas these aren’t always given due credit through other measurement tools. The drive to promote efficiency and reduce environmental impact is why farmer-owned cooperative, Arla Foods, has included an Alltech E-CO2 assessment as part of its Sustainable Dairy Farming Growing Together programme,” concluded Wynne.
The assessment process takes approximately two hours provided the data is to hand, which includes a farm walk and discussion about the action points suggested by the results. This is followed up with a full report detailing specific areas where performance can be improved.
Three Dairy Pro points will be awarded to the person representing the farm business in the Dairy EA assessment once Alltech E-CO2 notifies Dairy Pro that the assessment has been completed. The three points will contribute towards the 20-point target to achieve Dairy Pro Endorsed status each year. The more concise Dairy Swift-EA assessment offered by Alltech E-CO2 is also recognised by Dairy Pro, attracting one point.
Further details about Dairy Pro can be found at www.dairypro.co.uk.