Researchers at Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) have been awarded nearly £300,000 to support the UK Government’s goals in meeting net zero targets for land use and farming.

The three-year project will be delivered by researchers from SRUC’s Rural Economy, Environment and Society Department, building on their previous research for Defra to identify the most promising technology bundles for adoption on farm, assess their feasibility and acceptance within the farming industry, and their suitability for application within England’s diverse farm context.

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This work now underpins Defra’s decarbonisation plans for agriculture and agroforestry and has been critical in developing a rigorous, evidence-based pathway, informing the development of the Sustainable Farming Incentive (SFI) standards, Net Zero Strategy, and Carbon Budget Delivery Plan.

The new project will build on this evidence base and provide a basis for informing agriculture’s role within the Seventh Carbon Budget from 2034 and beyond.

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Project lead Andrew Barnes, Professor of Rural Resource Economics at SRUC, said: “I’m delighted that our work and expertise with Defra has been recognised in this way, allowing us to help inform future policy development for the farming sector.

“It represents the standing that our research team - Michael Macleod, Vera Eory and Dan Fletcher, along with UKCEH and NIAB - have with key players shaping the future of agricultural support and net zero strategy.”

The project runs for three years with an option to extend as policy needs develop.