In our recent survey, 26% of arable farmers reported that they are seeing the effects of climate change on their land now. 61% think they’ll be experiencing it over the next ten years.
For the arable sector, the big issue is nitrous oxide, a greenhouse gas 270 times more potent than carbon dioxide. 50% of all agricultural GHG emissions are nitrous oxide. It is released directly from the application of manufactured and organic fertiliser and from the natural processes taking place in soils, and indirectly from the production of manufactured fertiliser.
Nitrous oxide exists as part of a natural and very complex cycle. We can't eliminate it from the system, but we can take measures to reduce its production. Better use of nitrogen in animal and crop nutrition, improvements in feed, manures and fertilisers can reduce nitrous oxide emissions and help to reduce agriculture’s contribution to diffuse pollution in water and air. You can find out more about the Nitrogen cycle with our interactive diagram.
Water is also becoming a hot topic. Hotter, drier summers are predicted because of climate change, and you will have to increase your yield whilst using less water. See our water management factsheet and our interactive UK map for information on the Broadland Water Abstractor Group where a group of farmers have got together to collaborate on this issue.
For a detailed look at the arable sector and climate change, see our arable factsheet. The great news is that half of the arable farmers we contacted say they are already taking action to mitigate climate change and 43% think it’s possible for them to meet the 11% emissions reduction target as set out by Government.
Are you part of the 50% taking action?
There are lots of other factsheets and resources that will be of interest to you as an arable farmer and you can find them below. You can see a full list of our resources here and it may also be useful for you to use our Interactive Google map to get up to date information and advice for your region. You may also want to look into a 0 per cent Carbon Trust loan for energy efficiency improvements.