Defra has approved the NFU’s proposal for a new ELMs Test and Trial (T&T) which is specifically focused on net zero action. It will explore how farmers can contribute to the government’s 25 Year Environment Plan goals by working towards the NFU’s 2040 net zero ambition.
The project has been fully designed by the NFU and will be tested on 200 farms across the country, running through to autumn 2021.
The NFU’s objectives for the project include:
- Demonstrating that a broad range of activities are needed within ELMs, including productivity measures.
- Ensuring that land management plans are farmer-friendly and include net zero practices.
- Offering appropriate levels of advice and guidance to help farmers deliver these public goods. The T&T will include three different options: on a one-to-one basis, through virtual facilitated workshops and a ‘do it yourself’ option (no support).
Another key part of the T&T will be to understand if greenhouse gas footprinting (ie using carbon calculators to benchmark progress) is a useful tool to encourage farmers in the net zero transition. The project will use one of the three freely available GHG calculators depending on which best meets the needs of the T&T. The project does not aim to compare calculators or promote one particular calculator.
At the end of the project, a wrap-up workshop will take place to share the findings with all farmers involved. A final report will then be submitted to Defra.
NFU Vice President Tom Bradshaw said: “Our intention is that this Test and Trial leads to an ELM scheme which matches our ambition to become a global leader in climate-friendly food and farming.
“The T&T’s guiding principles are simplicity, flexibility and accessibility and allowing farmers and growers to choose what best fits their circumstance.”
Find out more:
NFU members can find out more about Test and Trial in our briefing here.
The NFU’s regional offices have selected members to participate in the project alongside members of the NFU’s national sector boards and forums.
ADAS has been appointed to manage the project on behalf of the NFU.
More of the NFU's work on net zero:
- 26 ways farmers are doing their bit for net zero
- Government promises a comprehensive net zero strategy in 2021
- Climate Assembly UK report highlights agriculture's net zero aspirations
- NFU expert insight: what are the links between lockdown, air quality and agriculture?