Low carbon farming event (Kent) - 'Moving towards low carbon farming'

12 June 2012

The Low Carbon Farming project events moved to Kent during the sunny week in late May with a sucessful day at Commonwork Farm, Bore Place. The morning session was held in the farm's 'low carbon' conference centre where delegates heard a variety of fascinating talks before heading out to hear about and see the diverse range of renewable technologies the farm has installed over recent years.

During the morning session we heard from Anna Becvar, an independent consultant specialising in soil, nutrient management, compost and AD. Anna gave an overview of the importance of careful nutrient and soil management with regards to N2O emissions and carbon sequestration - a huge topic in such a short space of time but all bases were covered well! John Allen from ECO2 consulting then talked us through carbon footprinting results for the dairy sector as well as mentioning beef and sheep and ran through practical measures that can be looked at to reduce emissions intensity through improved production - particularly focusing on the importance of outstanding health and welfare. Chris Sowerbutt from Southern Solar rounded off the morning session with a run down on the renewable energy technologies available for installation on farm and the in's and out's of the Feed in Tariff and Renewable Heat Incentive schemes.

After a delicious lunch, sourced locally and prepared on site the group was given a tour of the renewable energy side of Commonwork Farm. The farm has installed a vast range of technologies over recent years including a solar PV array, a wind turbine, a wood chip boiler and a wood pellet boiler.  With their own consultant leading the group we were able to get a detailed insight into both the workings of the various installations as well as the thought processes that went into the planning and development of renewable energy generation on the farm.

Thank you to everyone who came along, Mike Cottrell and the staff and Commonwork, and to our speakers for making the day a great sucess. The presentation slides from the morning session are available through the following links. For more information on Commonwork Farm and their sustainability work click here to visit their website.

Soils, nutrients and manures - Anna Becvar, Earthcare Technical

Carbon reduction in the ruminant sector - John Allen, E-CO2 Consultants

On farm renewable energy opportunities - Chris Sowerbutt, Southern Solar

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