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Accelerating Ruminant Farming Towards Carbon Zero
(ARCZero) is a European Innovation Partnership project made up of a co-operative of 7 farms in Northern Ireland.
It seeks to measure and manage carbon flows at the individual farm level to empower farmers to make positive change towards carbon zero farming.
The project is independently led by John Gilliland, alongside 7 commercial farms and industry partners including AgriSearch, Devenish, Queens University Belfast and Birnie Consultancy.
ARCZero will focus on producing an accurate, individual, whole farm carbon balance sheets – currently not available. It will precisely measure on-farm carbon stocks (soils, trees and hedges) combining them with the results of a whole farm Lifecycle Analysis calculator. This will allow an accurate creation of a base-line greenhouse gas position.
By assessing future management practices and identifying the most impactful behaviours the project intends to inform how farms across Northern Ireland could accelerate the move towards net carbon zero farming.
Each of the seven commercial farms in the project consortium will:
Supply output and input data for use in SRUC’s AgReCalc calculator.
Undertake GPS soil analyses covering pH, P & K (7.5cm depth) as well as carbon content and bulk density (30cm depth)
Be subject to LiDAR survey and analysis to identify above ground Carbon storage and routes of overland flow
The AgReCalc analysis will be undertaken at both the beginning and the end of the project, to see if positive change has taken place and if so, by how much. These Lifecycle Analysis results will then be added to the carbon stock results to create a Net farm carbon balance for each farm.
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