Footprinting Tool Aims To Help Farming Become Part Of The Climate Solution

A pioneering sustainable farming initiative aims to help decarbonise the global ruminant agriculture sector while supporting farmers in continuing to produce meat and milk.

The initiative, Agrinewal, is lead by Northern Ireland headquartered agri-technology company Devenish in collaboration with global professional services firm Accenture.

By accurately measuring on-farm carbon emissions and carbon sequestration, it is estimated Agrinewal will enable more than five million tonnes of carbon to be sequestered by 2030.

A spokesperson said the initiative had the potential to create new value for farmers across the island of Ireland, and accelerate the achievement of climate goals while also improving biodiversity, water quality and overall farm resilience.

The initiative capitalises on 21 years of research and science by Devenish and is backed by the latest artificial intelligence and cloud technology expertise from Accenture.

How It Works

Using the latest cloud-based technology, the tool provides a ‘Carbon Balance Sheet’ which can be used to benchmark progress against current performance.

It also identifies actions that will help reach net-zero and net-negative carbon emissions, boosting the environmental credentials for producers, processors and at every point on the food chain.

The system uses precise monitoring and regenerative agriculture practices – such as soil health, biodiversity and carbon sequestration and focuses on achieving the renewal of resources, rather than depletion.

It’s hoped the project will improve on-farm financial performance, soil health, animal welfare and water quality, while also reducing harmful emissions and increasing biodiversity. Additionally, it also opens up the possibility of new income streams for farmers from carbon farming and data analytics.

Clover

‘Part of the Climate Solution’

Devenish chief executive Richard Kennedy said: “Agrinewal’s purpose is to heal the planet and create value for farmers, processors, consumer brands and governments.

“Our vision is to enable carbon-neutral farming on a global scale while at the same time empowering farmers to increase revenues from their work to provide healthy, nutritious food.

“Devenish’s farming research and science knowledge, coupled with technology from Accenture, makes for clear differentiation from other farm management systems. Agrinewal will improve farm incomes through improved farm efficiencies and performance, as well as introducing new value through carbon while working towards solving the existential threats to farming and environmental issues.

“Agrinewal is a game-changer for farming, for food and for the environment, for this and the following generations.

“It allows farmers to maximise the potential of their land in a sustainable fashion, and because each farm will be on the road to achieving net-zero and beyond, it will change the narrative around the agriculture sector from a climate problem to a climate solution.”

Tim Cody, managing director, products, at Accenture in Ireland, added: “Our teams are working together to harness the power of artificial intelligence, data analytics and cloud to drive transformational change for both the food and the agricultural industries, putting Ireland at the forefront of innovation in this important area.”

Agrinewal will initially focus on beef and dairy farmers on the island of Ireland before being rolled out globally in the coming years.

The initiative’s roll-out has been supported by the Irish agriculture and food development authority Teagasc.

(Source – Agriland – Rachel Martin – 22/07/2021)

Global Climate Change Has Made Ireland Wetter And Warmer, New Report Finds

Annual rainfall in Ireland was 6pc higher over the last 30 years than the previous three decades, with a rise in temperature also being observed in all seasons, a new report on the country’s climate has found.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Met Éireann and the Marine Institute have published a report on ‘The Status of Ireland’s Climate’ – the second comprehensive analysis of “essential” climate data collected in Ireland.

The report confirms and updates findings from the 2012 report and details how global changes are being reflected in the country’s atmosphere, oceans and our landscape.

Key findings include the following:

Atmosphere

  • The annual average surface air temperature in Ireland has increased by over 0.9oC over the last 120 years, with a rise in temperature being observed in all seasons;
  • Annual precipitation was 6pc higher in the period 1989 to 2018, compared to the 30-year period 1961 to 1990;
  • The concentration of the main climate driver: greenhouse gases – carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide – measured in Ireland, continued to increase since 2012 with long term implications for our climate.

Oceans

  • Satellite observations indicate that the sea level around Ireland has risen by approximately 2-3mm per year since the early 1990s;
  • Measurements in the surface water to the west of Ireland indicate an increase in ocean acidity which is comparable to the rate of change in oceans around the world;
  • The average sea surface temperature measured at Malin Head has been 0.47ºC higher over the last ten years compared to the period 1981-2010.

Land

  • There is an increase in river flows across most of Ireland since the early 70s. However, there is evidence in recent years of an increase in potential drought conditions especially in the east;
  • Land cover observations since 1990 show increases in the areas covered by artificial surfaces and forest, whilst there is a decrease in wetland areas.

The report identified that while progress has been made in several areas of Ireland’s observation infrastructure, resourcing, analyses and co-ordination, since the 2012 climate status report, it says, “further action is needed to ensure the national climate observation system is fit for purpose for the coming decades”.

This, it says, includes continued maintenance of existing climate monitoring programmes and infrastructure, the transition of climate observations to long-term sustainable programmes, and investigate potential to monitor essential climate variables not currently observed in Ireland.

Extreme Weather

Laura Burke EPA director general said: “Climate observations provide the basis for our understanding of the realities of climate change here in Ireland, in Europe, and globally. As a party to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, and the Paris Agreement, Ireland has committed to carry out the range of climate observations outlined in this report.

“These data enable bodies such as the IPCC to carry out their analysis of global changes. Importantly, they are needed to inform effective responses to the changes that are happening here in Ireland.

“Today’s report brings together the evidence of the changes that have occurred across Ireland’s environment, from both long term detailed measurements on our land and in our oceans and atmosphere and from linked data from satellite observations from programmes such as Copernicus.

“The scientific data monitored and collated by GCOS Ireland represents Ireland’s long-standing contribution to the international scientific effort of providing the fundamental data needed to monitor our changing climate. GCOS Ireland collects scientific data on more than 40 essential climate variables, identified by the UNFCCC, across atmospheric, oceanic, and terrestrial domains.

Eoin Moran director of Met Éireann said: “As citizens in Ireland and around the world are now seeing the impacts of climate change, through evermore extreme weather events, fires and flooding etc., high quality observations of the climate are crucial to help inform society’s response to the climate emergency. Scientific long-term monitoring of the climate underpins climate research and the development of climate services which support policy making and decision making in the face of the urgency of the climate crisis.

“The report not only includes invaluable data provided to GCOS as Ireland’s contribution to the global climate monitoring effort, but also informs development and improvement of national climate monitoring infrastructure to provide ever better understanding of our climate system and to optimise national climate monitoring capacity. This long-term climate monitoring allows us to best compare changes occurring in Ireland’s climate to those across Europe and the rest of the world and to tailor our national response into the future”.

Mick Gillooly interim CEO of the Marine Institute said: “Long term climate monitoring programmes are needed to provide the evidence required to support national climate policy and action. It is through sustainable long term monitoring networks that we can measure the current state of our climate, and how much it has changed by, which in turn gives us an indication of how much more it is likely to change by into the future.”

(Source – Irish Independent – Indo Farming – Farming Independent Team – 12/08/2021)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Rural Enterprise Skillnet
Rural Enterprise Skillnet

The Rural Enterprise Skillnet is funded by member companies and the Training Networks Programme, an initiative of Skillnets Ltd. funded from the National Training Fund through the Department of Education and Skills.

Read More