Results from a two-year pilot measuring greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions on 100 farms will provide the platform for a programme that could be made available to all farms in the Fonterra Co-Operative.
The pilot will provide insight and understanding on what is happening on farm and identify the most robust approach for measuring emissions on farm. Fonterra’s Sustainable Dairying Programme Lead, Andrew Kempson, says addressing on-farm emissions from methane released when cows belch, and nitrous oxide, from nitrogen escaping into the atmosphere, is one of the most challenging issues facing the dairy and food producing sectors.
“This information gives us a starting point to begin talking about improving performance, or describing strengths and weaknesses with what they’re currently doing on farm,”
“We’ve been working closely with AgResearch for six months now to make sure the measurement tools we’re using are correct and the information that we’re receiving from farmers is what we need to move forward.”
Waikato famer, Grant Wills hopes the pilot can help him make positive changes.
“I want to get an early understanding of our greenhouse gas emissions and how the whole process works and what options there are for us to actually adapt and change so we can be more resilient,”
Farmers will receive a GHG report as part of their wider environmental performance reporting. General findings from the pilot will also be shared with DairyNZ, the Ministry for the Environment and the Ministry for the Primary Industries.
Kempson says with the are challenges in this area, it’s important Fonterra is proactive and stays on top of what’s going on.
“As a sustainable Co-operative, we need to understand our impact on climate change, and develop the best tools and support to help farmers understand their emissions and to consider the impact of climate change on their farms.”