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) will be holding its first farm walk on Wednesday 27th April 2022 on the Harbison Farm near Coleraine.
ARCZero, led by Professor John Gilliland of Devenish, 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 just finished creating 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.
Hosted by Hugh Harbison, this will be the first in a series of farm walks which will be held in the coming months. Hugh, who will share his journey so far, runs a 180 cow dairy farm in partnership with his father Thompson at Aghadowey near Coleraine.
At the farm walk delegates will be taken round a series of stops which will include an introduction to ARCZero and the farm, a look at how the greenhouse gas emissions were benchmarked, how above and below ground carbon is measured, the use of soil nutrient and LIDAR data to optimise the use of nutrients and improve water quality.
Hugh Harbison will share mitigation measures being adopted to lower the farm’s carbon footprint these include the use of clover and multi-species swards to lower the use of manufactured nitrogen fertiliser and improve carbon sequestration. The farm walk will feature a multi-species sward that Hugh establish last year. Hugh has also been investigating the potential to improve his carbon footprint and profitability by reducing cow size.
Speakers will include experts from Queen’s University, AFBI and CAFRE. Farm walks will leave at half hourly intervals from 10.30am to 12.30pm. Everyone is welcome but pre-registration is required and can be done by clicking here.