CARBON was a hot topic at the online Low Carbon Agriculture show, where it 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.

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 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 Mr Broadmeadow.

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 English National Farmers Union and supported by organisations from across the sector. Organiser David Jacobmeyer 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.

“We were very pleased with the digital platform, the level of interest in the rebranded show, the general engagement and content, and the conference was referred to by several visitors as ‘the best ever."

NFU deputy president Stuart Roberts 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 next Low Carbon Agriculture show will be a physical event and will take place on March 8 and 9, 2022, at the National Agriculture and Exhibition Centre, Stoneleigh, Warwickshire.

Visit the website for more information