ARCZero, a farmer-led European Innovation Project co-funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) and the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) has announced it will hold a farm walk on Wednesday 26th April 2023 on the farm of Ian McClelland near Banbridge.
Hosted by Ian McClelland, this will be the latest in a series of successful farm walks which have been held over the past year. Ian, who will share his journey so far, runs a 90 cow dairy farm near Banbridge.
The farm walk will focus on the role of good animal health management in reducing carbon footprint. In addition to the ARCZero project, Ian is also a member of another EIP group which is examining the role of targeted selective treatment of anthelmintics. Dr Chris McFarland from Queen’s University will speak at the farm walk on the results of this project. In addition, Dr Sam Strain from AHWNI will be speaking on Johnes Disease Control.
Ian has been taking steps to reduce his carbon footprint and improve economic performance by stitching in clover to his swards, which will allow him to reduce the amount of manufactured N fertiliser applied.
To help reduce nutrient losses to the environment, improve water quality, improve biodiversity and reduce the carbon footprint, he is also planning to use the results of the LIDAR survey to plant a woody riparian strip. These plans will feature in the farm walk, with an explanation of the run-off risk map which is a feature of the Soil Nutrient Health Scheme and will be available to every farmer who has signed up.
ARCZero, led by Professor John Gilliland of Brook Hall Estate and Queen’s University, is comprised of seven innovative farmers from across Northern Ireland together with academic and industry partners including Devenish, Queen’s University, AgriSearch and Birnie Consultancy. It has been investigating practical ways to measure, manage and reduce carbon in ruminant farming. ARCZero has created a robust baseline of both emissions and carbon stocks and is now looking at how these farms can further reduce their emissions while increasing their carbon stocks in a manner which will accelerate their journey towards Net Zero.
Speakers for the McClelland Farm Walk will include experts from Queen’s University and CAFRE. Farm walks will leave at 10.30am, 11.00am and 11.30pm.. Each tour will last around 2 hours. Everyone is welcome but pre-registration is required and can be done by clicking here.