|Five ways farmers can reduce their carbon footprint
It is widely acknowledged that agriculture is adversely affected by climate change. Yet, the role agriculture plays in the exacerbation of global warming can’t be denied. It contributes 50% of global methane (CH4) emissions and 60% of global nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions, two of the most potent greenhouse gases.
The energy needs within agriculture are primarily for the following end means:
Incorporating low carbon technologies and techniques into farming practices can reduce emissions into the atmosphere and lower their effects on climate change.
1. Carbon footprint and tillage
Conservation tillage facilitates the retention of carbon in the soil, in the form of soil organic matter. This enhances soil structure and also makes it more resistant to drought and erosion. Another advantage is the improvement of the soil’s biological fertility, which makes it more resilient.
2. Carbon footprint and irrigation
Making use of the correct irrigation system will lead to less water wastage and lower operating costs. This can be done by regularly testing soil moisture.
Implementing solar power rather than electricity or diesel to power pumps will also lower their production costs as well as their carbon footprint.
3. Carbon footprint and organic fertiliser
Making use of organic fertilizer yields much better results and lower agriculture’s carbon footprint. Results have shown that replacing part of chemical fertilizer with organic manure improves soil quality and crop yields, while decreasing greenhouse emissions.
4. Carbon footprint and tree restoration
5. Carbon footprint and food miles