The ARCZero group met recently in County Fermanagh at the farm group member John Egerton runs with his three sons just outside Rosslea.
The evening began with a farm walk during which John explained the three enterprises on his farm which include a herd of 90 Simmental, Limousin and Saler cows, a flock of 200 ewes and a Blade calf-rearing unit which runs in partnership with ABP. The farm has a strong focus on genetics in his breeding for both cattle and his sheep, in particular addressing fertility in cattle and breeding sheep to reduce lameness.
John also explained his reasons for choosing a Blade calf-rearing unit and the benefits this partnership with ABP has brought to his farm, as well as his sons’ interest to take over and run the family business and their plans for the future.
After the farm walk our lead partner John Gilliland gave a presentation which included an update on progress within the project so far, and the work programme for the coming months. Most notably the ARCZero group members will soon begin to receive their initial appraisal of soil carbon data as well as data from AgReCalc.
During the presentation John Gilliland gave a preview of the soil carbon data results. Despite the data being from only one farm, the information gathered is certainly looking very promising and will help ARCZero in its aim of accelerating ruminant farming towards carbon zero.
ARCZero is part of a European Innovation Partnership and is co-funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) and the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA).