Publication - Progress report

Climate Change Plan: monitoring reports - 2021 compendium

The first annual statutory monitoring report against the updated 2018 Climate Change Plan, as per the Climate Change (Emissions Reduction Targets) (Scotland) Act 2019.

215 page PDF

1.5 MB

215 page PDF

1.5 MB

Contents
Climate Change Plan: monitoring reports - 2021 compendium
Chapter 7: Agriculture

215 page PDF

1.5 MB

Chapter 7: Agriculture

Part A - Overview of sector

The 2018 annual emissions envelope set in the 2018 Climate Change Plan[46] for this sector was for 8.4 MtCO2e, the actual emission statistics for this year show a position of 7.5 MtCO2e [47]. As such, the sector was within its envelope during 2018. However, it should be noted that the historical GHG inventory for the period 1990-2018 was subject to technical revisions since the time of development of the 2018 Plan, which places some limitations on the extent to which these figures can be directly compared.

The updated Plan sets out the following six policy outcomes for the sector, the indicators for which are summarised below:

A more productive, sustainable agriculture sector that significantly contributes toward delivering Scotland's climate change, and wider environmental, outcomes through an increased uptake of climate mitigation measures by farmers, crofters, land managers and other primary food producers

There are no indicators for this policy outcome. More information is provided in the body of this report.

More farmers, crofters, land managers and other primary food producers are aware of the benefits and practicalities of cost effective climate mitigation measures On Track Off Track Too Early to Say
Increased engagement with Farm Advisory Services on environmental issues and climate change     x
Nitrogen emissions, including from nitrogen fertiliser, will have fallen through a combination of improved understanding efficiencies and improved soil condition On Track Off Track Too Early to Say
Use of Nitrogen fertilisers     x
Spreading precision of Nitrogen fertilisers     x
Reduced emissions from red meat and dairy through improved emissions intensity On Track Off Track Too Early to Say
Time taken from birth to slaughter and increased efficiency through improved health and reduced losses     x
Reduced emissions from the use and storage of manure and slurry On Track Off Track Too Early to Say
Improvement in covered slurry storage     x
Precision application of manure and slurry     x
Carbon sequestration and existing carbon stores on agricultural land have helped to increase and maintain our carbon sink. On Track Off Track Too Early to Say
Hectares of peatland restored per year     x
Area of woodland on agricultural land     x

Just-Transition and Cross-Economy Impacts

We wish to understand and report on the broader just transition and cross-economy impacts of our emissions-reduction activities in addition to these sector specific policy outcomes and indicators. To do this, we use data from the Office of National Statistics: Low Carbon Renewable Energy Economy (LCREE) publication.

The LCREE is based on survey data of businesses which perform economic activities that deliver goods and services that are likely to help generate lower emissions of greenhouse gases, for example low carbon electricity, low emission vehicles and low carbon services.

The LCREE indicator is narrowly defined and, while useful within its limited scope, does not give us the full picture of the impacts on workforce, employers and communities and progress towards a just transition. Over the next few years we will work to develop a meaningful set of success outcomes and indicators which can improve our ability to track the impacts of our policies on a just transition to net zero and a wellbeing economy.

Sector commentary on progress

The agriculture policies in the Plan update provide a route map for agricultural transformation, starting in 2020 with piloting and introducing new mechanisms of support for farmers, crofters and land managers to meet Scotland's climate ambitions, as well as delivering wider biodiversity and environmental benefits and continuing food production.

We are taking a co-development approach, working with stakeholders and farmer-led groups to secure increased uptake of low emission farming measures through new schemes and approaches, the development of environmental conditionality and enhanced advisory support.

Farmer led groups are a key initiative to propose practical workable solutions to ensure that agricultures contributes to Scotland's climate targets. These have made significant progress since the Plan update was published in December 2020 building on the work of the Beef Suckler Climate Group. Farmer led groups were established on Arable, Dairy and Hill, Upland and Crofting, along with an existing group considering the Pig sector, to look at what other key farming sectors can do to shift to low carbon farming and land management and use. These groups have all now reported and the detailed proposals and ideas within these reports will now be considered by government as it begins its work to create a new rural support scheme – as required to do by statute by 2026.

We have also taken forward work of a more technical nature that will help inform delivery of the policy outcomes in the Plan. ClimateXChange research has been published on Marginal Cost Abatement Curve, methane reducing feed additives and the role of leguminous crops. Consultations have been undertaken on the Clean Air Strategy, the formation of a Scottish Nitrogen Balance Sheet and River basin management plans - silage, slurry and anaerobic digestate – improving storage and application. These all have links to actions that will support climate change mitigation actions within agriculture.

Developments in monitoring arrangements since CCPu / last report

Revisions to the monitoring framework in the CCPu revised the policy outcomes by adding 2 and continuing 4. The outcome indicators have been revised to provide greater detail and are new.

Part B - Progress to Policy Outcome Indicators

Policy Outcome: Cross-sectoral social and economic indicator

Indicator: FTE employment in Low Carbon Renewable Energy Economy

On-Track Assessment (Milestones/ Targets): Year-to-year change

Most recent data: 2018

Data source(s): Office of National Statistics: Low Carbon Renewable Energy Economy (LCREE)

Assessment: Too early to say[48]

Commentary:

  • In 2018, Scottish low carbon and renewable energy (LCRE) sector was estimated to directly provide 23,100 full time equivalent (FTE) jobs
  • The LCREE estimates are based on a relatively small sample of businesses and hence are subject to fairly wide confidence intervals. LCRE employment in Scotland in 2018 is similar to previous years and not statistically significantly different to 2017.
Agriculture graph 1: Employment in Low Carbon Renewable Energy Economy, FTE
Graph showing employment in low carbon renewable energy economy from years 2014-2018. The graph shows the amount stayed about level from 2014 to 2015 at around 23,000, increased to around 24,000 in 2016, decreased to about 22,000 in 2017, and increased back to about 23,000 in 2018. None of these changes has been statistically significant. This graph is duplicated across all eight sectors.

Source: ONS

Policy Outcome: 2

Indicator: Increased engagement with Farm Advisory Services on environmental issues and climate change

On-Track Assessment (Milestones/ Targets): Based on trend

Most recent data: Data evaluating and monitoring the Farm Advisory Services (FAS) are currently being collected. Indicators collected include:

- More awareness of environmental issues and opportunities

- More awareness about climate change and energy use

- More awareness of waste and pollution issues

- Event feedback forms

- Use of Agrecalc to evaluate carbon footprint

- Calls to the advice line which are specifically about environmental issues.

This data will be assessed and used to develop a baseline and targets going forward. Data is collected through a comprehensive customer feedback form as well as a range of indicators related to engagement at events and use of online tools. Early indications are that engagement has been positive.

Data source(s): FAS monitoring and Evaluation collection.

Assessment: Too early to say[49]

Commentary: This is a new indicator and the baseline and targets are still being assessed.

Policy Outcome: 3

Indicator: Use of Nitrogen fertilisers

On-Track Assessment (Milestones/ Targets): Based on trend

Most recent data: This is a new indicator and baseline and targets are still being assessed.

Data source(s): British Survey of Fertiliser Practice (BSFP).

Assessment: Too early to say[50]

Commentary: The BSFP collects data on the types of Nitrogen fertilisers used, how widespread that use is and the precision of application of these fertilisers. An analysis of current practice, alongside expert advice, will inform targets for how this should be measured and what targets should be set.

The Scottish Survey of Farm Structure can give some helpful sub-indicator baseline data as reported upon in the Climate Change Plan: monitoring report 2019. It was expected that the next Scottish Survey of Farm Structure would be held in 2020, however, due to Covid 19 that did not take place. Therefore, the most recent data set is for 2016 and the same as the previous monitoring report and is relevant to both policy outcome 3 and 5:

  • 64% of farmers surveyed carried out pH testing on other (arable) land in 2016.
  • 30% of farmers surveyed carried out pH testing on grassland in 2016.
  • 42% share of farms surveyed completed a nutrient management plan on other (arable) land in 2016.
  • 17% of farmers surveyed completed a nutrient management plan on grassland in 2016.

Policy Outcome: 3

Indicator: Spreading precision of Nitrogen fertilisers

On-Track Assessment (Milestones/ Targets): Based on trend

Most recent data: This is a new indicator and baseline and targets are still being assessed.

Data source(s): British Survey of Fertiliser Practice (BSFP).

Assessment: Too early to say[51]

Commentary: The BSFP collects data on the types of Nitrogen fertilisers used, how widespread that use is and the precision of application of these fertilisers. An analysis of current practice, alongside expert advice, will inform targets for how this should be measured and what targets should be set.

Policy Outcome: 4

Indicator: Time taken from birth to slaughter and increased efficiency through improved health and reduced losses

On-Track Assessment (Milestones/ Targets): Based on trend

Most recent data: This is a new indicator and baseline and targets are still being assessed.

Data source(s): Cattle Tracing Scheme (CTS).

Assessment: Too early to say[52]

Commentary: Work is ongoing with the Farmer Led Groups to understand the issues involved in reducing emissions and to agree how to measure and evaluate efficiency. These decisions will then inform the development of baseline and targets.

Policy Outcome: 5

Indicator: Improvement in covered slurry storage

On-Track Assessment (Milestones/ Targets): Based on trend

Most recent data: This is a new indicator and baseline and targets are still being assessed.

Data source(s): The Survey of Agricultural Production Methods (SAPM).

Assessment: Too early to say[53]

Commentary: SAPM is currently only collected every fours and the most recent collection was impacted by the Covid pandemic. Alternative methods of collecting this data will be investigated and an evaluation will be carried out into the baseline and targets for this indicator.

Policy Outcome: 5

Indicator: Precision application of manure and slurry

On-Track Assessment (Milestones/ Targets): Based on trend

Most recent data: This is a new indicator and baseline and targets are still being assessed.

Data source(s): British Survey of Fertiliser Practice (BSFP).

Assessment: Too early to say[54]

Commentary: The BSFP collects data on the extent of manure and slurry use and the precision of application. An analysis of current practice alongside expert advice will inform targets for how this should be measured and what targets should be set.

Policy Outcome: 6

Indicator: Hectares of peatland restored per year

On-Track Assessment (Milestones/ Targets): Year-to-year change

Most recent data: This is a new indicator and baseline and targets are still being assessed.

Data source(s): A project is underway to develop a Scotland-wide data catalogue of land use classifications.

Assessment: Too early to say[55]

Commentary: Work is underway to develop this data source and to make tools available to assess both current land use classifications but also assessments of land use capability and the potential for restoring peatland. This will inform the setting of a baseline and targets.

Policy Outcome: 6

Indicator: Area of woodland on agricultural land

On-Track Assessment (Milestones/ Targets): Based on trend

Most recent data: This is a new indicator and baseline and targets are still being assessed.

Data source(s): A project is underway to develop a Scotland-wide data catalogue of land use classifications.

Assessment: Too early to say[56]

Commentary: Work is underway to develop this data source and to make tools available to assess both current land use classifications but also assessments of land use capability and the potential for increasing the area of woodland. This will inform the setting of a baseline and targets.

Part C - Information on implementation of individual policies

Outcome 1: A more productive, sustainable agriculture sector that significantly contributes towards delivering Scotland's climate change, and wider environmental, outcomes through an increased uptake of climate mitigation measures by farmers, crofters, land managers and other primary food producers

Policy:

Scale up the Agricultural Transformation Programme across all the policies, including monitoring to assess the effectiveness of the pilot Sustainable Agricultural Capital Grant Scheme that will enable farmers and crofters to purchase equipment that should assist in reducing their greenhouse gas emissions, and support practice change.

Status: New, Boosted or Maintained compared to last CCP [date announced]:

New [2019-2020 Programme for Government]

Progress on implementation since time of last report / CCPu:

This is a new policy, published in the Climate Change Plan Update in 2020.

Agricultural Transformation is underway. We have established farmer-led groups, to provide advice on how to farm in ways that reduce emissions and benefit the environment. These have been making rapid progress and will support a number of policies in the Plan including low carbon farming, environmental conditionality, supporting biodiversity and wider land use considerations

The pilot Sustainable Agricultural Capital Grant Scheme is being evaluated to measure success, and a further £40 million has been allocated in the 2021/22 budget. This will continue to assist the agricultural industry to play its part in contributing towards the delivery of Scotland's climate ambitions

The farmer led groups' reports were made available in March 2021, setting out a whole industry approach to tackling climate change and restoring and enhancing biodiversity within food production and farming.

Have any implementation Indicators / milestones been set for this policy? If so, most recent data for progress against these.:

No new indicators

Timeframe and expected next steps:

The detailed proposals and ideas within the farmer led groups reports will be considered by government as it begins its work to create a new rural support scheme.

Agriculture Transformation funding in place for 2021/22.

Policy:

Develop rural support policy to enable, encourage and where appropriate, require the shift to low carbon, sustainable farming through emissions reduction, sustainable food production, improving biodiversity, planting biomass crops and appropriate land use change developed in line with just transition principles.

Status: New, Boosted or Maintained compared to last CCP [date announced]:

New [CCPu 2020]

Progress on implementation since time of last report / CCPu:

This is a new policy, published in the Climate Change Plan Update in 2020 and will be informed by the farmer led groups and further stakeholder consultation. The farmer led groups' reports were made available in March 2021, setting out a whole industry approach to tackling climate change and restoring and enhancing biodiversity within food production and farming.

Have any implementation Indicators / milestones been set for this policy? If so, most recent data for progress against these.:

No new indicators

Timeframe and expected next steps:

The detailed proposals and ideas within the farmer led groups reports will be considered by government as it begins its work to create a new rural support scheme.

Policy:

Develop new schemes and approaches to support low carbon, sustainable farming, including through the Programme Board for the Beef Suckler Climate Group, other farmer-led groups on arable, dairy and high value, nature farming and crofting which will report in 2021.

Status: New, Boosted or Maintained compared to last CCP [date announced]:

New [2020-2021 PfG & Agriscot 2020]

Progress on implementation since time of last report / CCPu:

This is a new policy, published in the Climate Change Plan Update in 2020. Rapid progress has already been made through the Beef Suckler Climate Group which has already published recommendations. A separate Programme Board has now been set up to take these forward. The farmer led groups' reports were made available in March 2021, setting out a whole industry approach to tackling climate change and restoring and enhancing biodiversity within food production and farming.

Have any implementation Indicators / milestones been set for this policy? If so, most recent data for progress against these.:

No new indicators

Timeframe and expected next steps:

The detailed proposals and ideas within the farmer led groups reports will be considered by government as it begins its work to create a new rural support scheme.

Policy:

Introduce Environmental Conditionality, from 2021 via implementation of the Beef Suckler Climate Report and, more widely from 2022, through the review of existing CAP Greening which will extend the requirements to all farmers and crofters to undertake environmental actions.

Status: New, Boosted or Maintained compared to last CCP [date announced]:

New [CCPu 2020]

Progress on implementation since time of last report / CCPu:

This is a new policy, published in the Climate Change Plan Update in 2020.

We have established farmer-led groups, to provide advice on how to farm in ways that reduce emissions and benefit the environment. The farmer led groups' reports were made available in March 2021, setting out a whole industry approach to tackling climate change and restoring and enhancing biodiversity within food production and farming.

Have any implementation Indicators / milestones been set for this policy? If so, most recent data for progress against these.:

No new indicators

Timeframe and expected next steps:

The detailed proposals and ideas within the farmer led groups reports will be considered by government as it begins its work to create a new rural support scheme.

Policy:

Further provision of advice for farmers and crofters who wish to retire: A new commitment to work with stakeholders to provide advice, including further extending the Land Matching Service and guidance for farmers and crofters who wish to step back from agricultural businesses by providing an opportunity to consider alternative land-uses or alternative agricultural uses.

Status: New, Boosted or Maintained compared to last CCP [date announced]:

New [CCPu 2020]

Progress on implementation since time of last report / CCPu:

This is a new policy, published in the Climate Change Plan Update in 2020. The Land Matching Service and advice under the Farm Advisory Service is already in place and will be built upon.

Have any implementation Indicators / milestones been set for this policy? If so, most recent data for progress against these.:

No new indicators

Timeframe and expected next steps:

Will continue development throughout 2021.

Outcome 2: More farmers, crofters, land managers and other primary food producers are aware of the benefits and practicalities of cost effective climate mitigation measures.

Policy:

The dissemination of information and advice on climate change mitigation measures in agriculture through a range of communication methods utilising technology and all media to best effect.

Status: New, Boosted or Maintained compared to last CCP [date announced]:

Boosted [Through new policy to realign and enhance advice]

Progress on implementation since time of last report / CCPu:

Scotland's Farm Advisory Service (FAS) has been extended until the end of 2021 and has evolved into a concept well placed to adapt, keep pace with such challenges and provide advice aligned to Scottish Government's priorities of climate change mitigation and adaption and biodiversity.

Farming for a Better Climate continues to promote practical and cost effective climate change mitigation and adaptation measures to farmers and land managers, alongside real time findings from the Farming for a Better Climate Soil Regenerative Agriculture Group. Messages are promoted via a project webpage, social media accounts, a regular podcast and other press and promotional material. The farmer-led soil regenerative agriculture network continues to focus on positive actions that can be taken on Scottish farms to support, enhance and protect their soils. The group have trialled new approaches to allow them to improve production whilst delivering wider benefits such as building soil resilience, improving water retention, storing carbon and enhancing bio-diversity. While face to face events have been limited due to Covid-19, regular updates are added to the Farming for a Better Climate webpages and shared via social media along with press articles and a series of podcasts.

Have any implementation Indicators / milestones been set for this policy? If so, most recent data for progress against these.:

No new indicators

Timeframe and expected next steps:

Post 2020 period the FAS will remain flexible and be responsive to emerging needs. We will continue to consider the focus of the FAS and how that advice can be delivered to best effect.

We aim to procure future FAS contracts for implementation after December 2021.

Policy:

An agri-tech group will be established to share, disseminate and encourage adoption of advances in agricultural science and technology as widely as possible.

Status: New, Boosted or Maintained compared to last CCP [date announced]:

Maintained

Progress on implementation since time of last report / CCPu:

This work is ongoing, however was impacted by Covid-19.

Have any implementation Indicators / milestones been set for this policy? If so, most recent data for progress against these.:

No new indicators

Timeframe and expected next steps:

Will seek to finalise throughout 2021.

Policy:

Launch a new and expanded peer to peer knowledge transfer initiative based on the success of our Young Climate Change Champions work.

Status: New, Boosted or Maintained compared to last CCP [date announced]:

New [CCPu 2020]

Progress on implementation since time of last report / CCPu:

This is a new policy, published in the Climate Change Plan Update in 2020.

Following the success of the Young Farming Climate Champions we will work with industry to take forward a Scotland wide approach encompassing all of our food production sectors to promote not only climate friendly practices but also wider environmental and biodiversity benefits.

Have any implementation Indicators / milestones been set for this policy? If so, most recent data for progress against these.:

No new indicators

Timeframe and expected next steps:

Will continue development throughout 2021.

Policy:

Realign and enhance our established programmes and initiatives such as the Farm Advisory Service, the Knowledge Transfer and Innovation Fund and Monitor Farm Programme to create a more cohesive approach to ensure advice and support is focussed on helping industry to professionalise to support sustainable farming.

Status: New, Boosted or Maintained compared to last CCP [date announced]:

New [CCPu 2020]

Progress on implementation since time of last report / CCPu:

We aim to procure future FAS contracts for implementation after December 2021 and will take this opportunity to greater align and enhance the service to support climate change mitigation, cut emissions, improve carbon sequestration and increase biodiversity.

The KTIF has funded over £1m across 16 project which seek to restore, preserve and enhance biodiversity and increase efficiency in energy use in agriculture and food processing.

Have any implementation Indicators / milestones been set for this policy? If so, most recent data for progress against these.:

No new indicators

Timeframe and expected next steps:

December 2021

Policy:

Carbon Audits: in 2018, we will consult on how best to ensure maximum take up of carbon audits and how to enable tenant farmers and crofters in particular to benefit.

Status: New, Boosted or Maintained compared to last CCP [date announced]:

Maintained

Progress on implementation since time of last report / CCPu:

Carbon Audits were broadly consulted upon in the Stability and Simplicity consultation Stability, certainty and simplicity in rural support - gov.scot (www.gov.scot)

The farmer led groups reports were made available in March 2021. We will consider the use of carbon audits as part of the whole industry approach to climate change and restoring and enhancing biodiversity within food production and farming.

Have any implementation Indicators / milestones been set for this policy? If so, most recent data for progress against these.:

No new indicators

Timeframe and expected next steps:

The detailed proposals and ideas within the farmer led group reports will be considered by government as it begins its work to create a new rural support scheme.

Policy:

We will explore with stakeholders, including the Scottish Tenant Farmers Association and the Tenant Farming Commissioner, how best to engage tenant farmers to increase understanding of the environmental and economic benefits of low carbon farming.

Status: New, Boosted or Maintained compared to last CCP [date announced]:

Maintained

Progress on implementation since time of last report / CCPu:

A working group on "Trees in Tenancies" has been established which is developing actions to make it easier for Tenant farmers to benefit directly from woodland creation. These include developing case studies with tenant farmers, producing better guidance in partnership with the Tenant Farming Commissioner, creating example legal templates and "heads of terms" and identifying potential barriers within the existing legislation. We are also updating the Small Farm Grant Scheme to provide more options for woodlands and trees within this scheme.

Have any implementation Indicators / milestones been set for this policy? If so, most recent data for progress against these.:

No new indicators

Timeframe and expected next steps:

Will continue development throughout 2021.

Policy:

Marketing scheme: Determine the feasibility of a Low Carbon Farming marketing scheme.

Status: New, Boosted or Maintained compared to last CCP [date announced]:

Maintained

Progress on implementation since time of last report / CCPu:

This is ongoing and currently under consideration as part of the Beef Suckler Climate Report.

Have any implementation Indicators / milestones been set for this policy? If so, most recent data for progress against these.:

No new indicators

Timeframe and expected next steps:

Will continue consideration throughout 2021

Outcome 3: Nitrogen emissions, including from nitrogen fertiliser, will have fallen through a combination of improved understanding, efficiencies and improved soil condition

Policy:

Communicate and demonstrate the benefits of precision farming and nitrogen use efficiency in order to achieve a reduction in GHG emissions.

Status: New, Boosted or Maintained compared to last CCP [date announced]:

Boosted [Through new policy to realign and enhance advice]

Progress on implementation since time of last report / CCPu:

This policy has been boosted through the commitment on the Farm Advisory Service, Innovation and Knowledge Transfer and will be informed by the findings and needs of the arable farmer led group. Farming for a Better Climate and the Soil Regenerative Group.

The work which is ongoing to develop a Nitrogen Balance Sheet may also present opportunities.

Have any implementation Indicators / milestones been set for this policy? If so, most recent data for progress against these.:

No new indicators

Timeframe and expected next steps:

Will continue development throughout 2021.

Policy:

Work with the agriculture and science sectors regarding the feasibility and development of a SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time bound) target for reducing Scotland's emissions from nitrogen fertiliser.

Status: New, Boosted or Maintained compared to last CCP [date announced]:

Boosted [Through Scotland's National Nitrogen Balance Sheet]

Progress on implementation since time of last report / CCPu:

The ClimateXChange have published a comparative analysis of nitrogen accounting tools - Comparative analysis of nitrogen accounting models with particular reference to agriculture (https://www.climatexchange.org.uk/research/projects/comparative-analysis-of-nitrogen-accounting-models-with-particular-reference-to-agriculture/)

The establishment of a Scottish National Nitrogen Balance Sheet, which is due to be set out in legislation by March 2022, will be a key step in building the evidence base around nitrogen use efficiency at the national scale. Proposals for the Balance Sheet have recently been out to consultation, including a workshop for agriculture and land management stakeholders.

Have any implementation Indicators / milestones been set for this policy? If so, most recent data for progress against these.:

No new indicators

Timeframe and expected next steps:

Will continue development throughout 2021.

Policy:

From 2018 we expect farmers to test the soil on all improved land every five or six years, and we will work with them to establish how best to achieve this.

Status: New, Boosted or Maintained compared to last CCP [date announced]:

Boosted [Through new policy to introduce conditionality]

Progress on implementation since time of last report / CCPu:

Carbon Audits were broadly consulted upon in the Stability and Simplicity consultation Stability, certainty and simplicity in rural support - gov.scot (www.gov.scot)

The farmer led groups reports were made available in March 2021, we will consider soil testing as part of the whole industry approach to tackling climate change and restoring and enhancing biodiversity within food production and farming.

Have any implementation Indicators / milestones been set for this policy? If so, most recent data for progress against these.:

No new indicators

Timeframe and expected next steps:

The detailed proposals and ideas within the farmer led groups reports will be considered by government as it begins its work to create a new rural support scheme.

Policy:

Investigate the benefits and barriers of leguminous crops in rotation.

Status: New, Boosted or Maintained compared to last CCP [date announced]:

Maintained

Progress on implementation since time of last report / CCPu:

Research on the potential for leguminous crops in Scotland was published in January 2021 - The potential for leguminous crops in Scotland (https://www.climatexchange.org.uk/research/projects/the-potential-for-leguminous-crops-in-scotland/)

This was considered by the arable farmer led group. The farmer led groups' reports were made available in March 2021, setting out a whole industry approach to tackling climate change and restoring and enhancing biodiversity within food production and farming.

Have any implementation Indicators / milestones been set for this policy? If so, most recent data for progress against these.:

No new indicators

Timeframe and expected next steps:

The detailed proposals and ideas within the farmer led groups reports will be considered by government as it begins its work to create a new rural support scheme.

Policy:

Crop varieties with improved nitrogen-use efficiency.

Status: New, Boosted or Maintained compared to last CCP [date announced]:

Maintained

Progress on implementation since time of last report / CCPu:

This is ongoing through monitoring for the establishment of new breeding goals and the development of breeding programmes looking at nitrogen-use efficiency & native varieties. This is being considered by the arable farmer led group.

Have any implementation Indicators / milestones been set for this policy? If so, most recent data for progress against these.:

No new indicators

Timeframe and expected next steps:

Will continue development throughout 2021

Outcome 4: Reduced emissions from red meat and dairy through improved emissions intensity

Policy:

Commission and publish a report into the establishment of emissions intensity figures for beef, lamb and milk.

Status: New, Boosted or Maintained compared to last CCP [date announced]:

Maintained

Progress on implementation since time of last report / CCPu:

Completed - ClimateXChange published Emission intensity of Scottish agricultural commodities in August 2018

(https://www.climatexchange.org.uk/research/projects/emission-intensity-of-scottish-agricultural-commodities/)

Have any implementation Indicators / milestones been set for this policy? If so, most recent data for progress against these.:

No new indicators

Timeframe and expected next steps:

N/A

Policy:

Work with Quality Meat Scotland, ScotEID and livestock producers to encourage improved emissions intensity through genotyping, improving fertility, reducing animal mortality and improving on farm management practices.

Status: New, Boosted or Maintained compared to last CCP [date announced]:

Boosted [CCPu 2020]

Progress on implementation since time of last report / CCPu:

Over the past five years a number of beef producers have started work on a number of these issues thought the Beef Efficiency Scheme(BES) we have 105,360 unique genotypes that have been processed to date from BES animals (calves and sires)

through the mandatory genotyping in the scheme. There has also been a large amount of data recorded through the scheme, this includes calf and dam mortality, with calf mortality being recorded even if death occurs prior to registrations. In additional all participants of BES have had to carry out compulsory carbon audits on three occasions throughout the lifetime of the scheme.

This work is ongoing and will be informed by the farmer led groups' reports which were made available in March 2021, setting out a whole industry approach to tackling climate change and restoring and enhancing biodiversity within food production and farming.

A revised Animal Health and Welfare Livestock Strategy is to be published in 2021.

Have any implementation Indicators / milestones been set for this policy? If so, most recent data for progress against these.:

No new indicators

Timeframe and expected next steps:

The detailed proposals and ideas within the farmer led groups reports will be considered by government as it begins its work to create a new rural support scheme.

A revised Animal Health and Welfare Livestock Strategy is expected to be published in 2021.

Policy:

Determine the practicality of establishing a SMART target for reduction in the intensity of emissions for beef, sheep and dairy sectors.

Status: New, Boosted or Maintained compared to last CCP [date announced]:

Maintained

Progress on implementation since time of last report / CCPu:

This is ongoing and will be informed by the five farmer led groups as well as the findings of the report on emissions intensity (see above).

Have any implementation Indicators / milestones been set for this policy? If so, most recent data for progress against these.:

No new indicators

Timeframe and expected next steps:

Will continue development throughout 2021.

Policy:

Consult in 2018 to determine the nature of livestock health measures that the sector will adopt from 2019.

Status: New, Boosted or Maintained compared to last CCP [date announced]:

Maintained

Progress on implementation since time of last report / CCPu:

This policy has been maintained from the 2018 Climate Change Plan and is ongoing. It looks at proactive measures to control diseases in cattle and thereby lower the emissions by increasing efficiencies. The farmer led groups' reports were made available in March 2021, setting out a whole industry approach to tackling climate change and restoring and enhancing biodiversity within food production and farming.

Have any implementation Indicators / milestones been set for this policy? If so, most recent data for progress against these.:

No new indicators

Timeframe and expected next steps:

A revised Animal Health and Welfare Livestock Strategy is expected to be published in 2021

The detailed proposals and ideas within the farmer led groups reports will be considered by government as it begins its work to create a new rural support scheme.

Policy:

Determine the practicalities and feasibility of using livestock feed additives as a means of reducing emissions.

Status: New, Boosted or Maintained compared to last CCP [date announced]:

Maintained

Progress on implementation since time of last report / CCPu:

A report on livestock feed additives was produced through the ClimateXChange and a summary is available at: https://www.climatexchange.org.uk/research/projects/methane-reducing-feed-additives/

The farmer led groups' reports were made available in March 2021, setting out a whole industry approach to tackling climate change and restoring and enhancing biodiversity within food production and farming.

Have any implementation Indicators / milestones been set for this policy? If so, most recent data for progress against these.:

No new indicators

Timeframe and expected next steps:

Will continue to monitor, however, no product is currently authorised for use as a feed additive to reduce methane emissions.

Outcome 5: Reduced emissions from the use and storage of manure and slurry

Policy:

Engaging with farmers to explore their support requirements, establish how they can improve the use and storage of manure and slurry, including the potential for cooperatively owned and managed anaerobic digesters.

Status: New, Boosted or Maintained compared to last CCP [date announced]:

Boosted [Dec 2020, before CCPu 2020]

Progress on implementation since time of last report / CCPu:

Research has been completed on the market potential for anaerobic digestion as a tool to manage slurry and farmyard manure arising from Scottish livestock farming.

farmyard-manure-and-slurry.pdf (climatexchange.org.uk)

Support for improving slurry storage is available for farmers through the Agri-Environment Climate Scheme with £5.2m provided to 131 businesses between 2017 and 2021. A further £2.05m support for improving the use and storage of manure and slurry was provided through the pilot Sustainable Agriculture Capital Grant Scheme.

This issue was also considered by the farmer led groups, as appropriate. The farmer led groups' reports were made available in March 2021, setting out a whole industry approach to tackling climate change and restoring and enhancing biodiversity within food production and farming.

Have any implementation Indicators / milestones been set for this policy? If so, most recent data for progress against these.:

No new indicators

Timeframe and expected next steps:

Will continue support for improving slurry storage in 2021. The detailed proposals and ideas within the farmer led groups reports will be considered by government as it begins its work to create a new rural support scheme.

Policy:

Investigate the practicalities of livestock grazing in rotation on current arable land.

Status: New, Boosted or Maintained compared to last CCP [date announced]:

Maintained

Progress on implementation since time of last report / CCPu:

The East/West Beed Grazing Collaboration Pilot run by SAOS was supported under the Knowledge Transfer and Innovation Fund to work toward establishing evidence on the financial and environmental value of moving cattle to lower cost natural resources.

The operational group produced case studies showing there are environmental and carbon sequestration benefits, especially where fodder crops are grown and grazed gradually over the winter period. The findings included significant potential fuel savings, that adopting rotational grazing negates the necessity for artificial fertilisers and intensely farming the fields and that it was on the whole a low cost, low carbon system with less reliance on cereals-based diets and greater utilisation of grazing ground both in the summer and winter.

Have any implementation Indicators / milestones been set for this policy? If so, most recent data for progress against these.:

No new indicators

Timeframe and expected next steps:

N/A

Policy:

Conduct a feasibility study for the establishment of manure/ slurry exchange.

Status: New, Boosted or Maintained compared to last CCP [date announced]:

Maintained

Progress on implementation since time of last report / CCPu:

Completed – a feasibility study was published in June 2020, through the ClimateXChange Establishing a manure/slurry exchange in Scotland (https://www.climatexchange.org.uk/research/projects/establishing-a-manureslurry-exchange-in-scotland/)

Have any implementation Indicators / milestones been set for this policy? If so, most recent data for progress against these.:

No new indicators

Timeframe and expected next steps:

N/A

Policy:

Determine how to consistently minimise emissions from slurry storage.

Status: New, Boosted or Maintained compared to last CCP [date announced]:

Maintained

Progress on implementation since time of last report / CCPu:

Research includes Slurry Storage on Scottish Farms – A Feasibility Study (climatexchange.org.uk) and Microsoft Word - IQ26-2019 - establishing a manure-slurry exchange in Scotland-a feasibility study - FINAL - 8 June 2020.docx (climatexchange.org.uk)

Support for slurry storage is available for farmers through the Agri-Environment Climate Scheme and was part of the pilot Sustainable Agriculture Capital Grant Scheme

Have any implementation Indicators / milestones been set for this policy? If so, most recent data for progress against these.:

No new indicators

Timeframe and expected next steps:

N/A

Policy:

Review management of storage and application of organic materials such as silage, slurry and liquid digestate, including what support may be required to ensure best practice.

Status: New, Boosted or Maintained compared to last CCP [date announced]:

New [CCPu 2020]

Progress on implementation since time of last report / CCPu:

This is ongoing. A public consultation on River basin management plans - silage, slurry and anaerobic digestate – improving storage and application was launched in January 2021 with the review of regulations expected to happen in 2021.

Have any implementation Indicators / milestones been set for this policy? If so, most recent data for progress against these.:

No new indicators

Timeframe and expected next steps:

Will continue development throughout 2021

Outcome 6: Carbon sequestration and existing carbon stores on agricultural land have helped to increase and maintain our carbon sink

Policy:

Explore with the farming and forestry sectors how best to increase planting of trees and hedgerows which optimise carbon sequestration, including the role of agroforestry.

Status: New, Boosted or Maintained compared to last CCP [date announced]:

Boosted [Two actions, 1st announced summer 2020, 2nd CCPu 2020]

Progress on implementation since time of last report / CCPu:

This is ongoing. The Scottish Government and Scottish Forestry have launched the Integrating Trees Network, a new demonstrator network of farms, crofts and estates across Scotland, to raise awareness of the multiple benefits that planting trees can bring to agricultural businesses. The aim of the network is to encourage more trees to be planted on Scottish land, in the right place, for the right reason and to give guidance on how this can be practically achieved.

We have also committed (July 2020) an additional £1.5 million (through the Agricultural Transformation Programme) to further support the integration of small woodlands on farmers and crofts across Scotland which will help to increase the levels of carbon sequestration delivery by our agricultural sector.

Have any implementation Indicators / milestones been set for this policy? If so, most recent data for progress against these.:

No new indicators

Timeframe and expected next steps:

Will continue development throughout 2021

Policy:

Investigate the feasibility of payment for carbon sequestration taking into account any existing schemes such as the woodland carbon code as a means of encouraging the uptake of carbon sequestration on farms.

Status: New, Boosted or Maintained compared to last CCP [date announced]:

Maintained

Progress on implementation since time of last report / CCPu:

This is ongoing and will consider the development of a scheme in which farmers can selling carbon credits, noting that a significant number of farmers are already doing this under the Woodland Carbon Code.

Have any implementation Indicators / milestones been set for this policy? If so, most recent data for progress against these.:

No new indicators

Timeframe and expected next steps:

Will continue development throughout 2021.

Policy:

Increase woodland cover on suitable agricultural land.

Status: New, Boosted or Maintained compared to last CCP [date announced]:

Maintained

Progress on implementation since time of last report / CCPu:

The Scottish Government and Scottish Forestry have launched the Integrating Trees Network, a new demonstrator network of farms, crofts and estates across Scotland, to raise awareness of the multiple benefits that planting trees can bring to agricultural businesses. The aim of the network is to encourage more trees to be planted on Scottish land, in the right place, for the right reason and to give guidance on how this can be practically achieved.

Have any implementation Indicators / milestones been set for this policy? If so, most recent data for progress against these.:

No new indicators

Timeframe and expected next steps:

Will continue development throughout 2021.

Policy:

Building on the successful work integrating woodland with farming businesses, help remove barriers for those on agriculture holdings, particularly in the tenanted sector who want to engage in woodland creation, including exploring the potential to reform legislation where appropriate.

Status: New, Boosted or Maintained compared to last CCP [date announced]:

New [CCPu 2020]

Progress on implementation since time of last report / CCPu:

A working group on "Trees in Tenancies" has been established which is developing actions to make it easier for Tenant farmers to benefit directly from woodland creation. These include developing case studies with tenant farmers, producing better guidance in partnership with the Tenant Farming Commissioner, creating example legal templates and "heads of terms" and identifying potential barriers within the existing legislation.

Have any implementation Indicators / milestones been set for this policy? If so, most recent data for progress against these.:

No new indicators

Timeframe and expected next steps:

Will continue development throughout 2021

Policy:

Work with stakeholders on options to increase peatland restoration on suitable agricultural and crofting land, to support delivery of policies in the LULUCF chapter. We will map peatland against this land which will allow modelling options for land-use change and inform opportunities for targeted support of peatland restoration and management.

Status: New, Boosted or Maintained compared to last CCP [date announced]:

New [CCPu 2020]

Progress on implementation since time of last report / CCPu:

This is a new policy, published in the Climate Change Plan Update in 2020.

Have any implementation Indicators / milestones been set for this policy? If so, most recent data for progress against these.:

No new indicators

Timeframe and expected next steps:

Will continue development throughout 2021, linking to development of policies in the LULUCF chapter.

Policy:

Explore options for land-use change to optimise uses beyond traditional farming and food production to multi-faceted land use including forestry, peatland restoration and management and biomass production.

Status: New, Boosted or Maintained compared to last CCP [date announced]:

New [CCPu 2020]

Progress on implementation since time of last report / CCPu:

This is a new policy, published in the Climate Change Plan Update in 2020

Have any implementation Indicators / milestones been set for this policy? If so, most recent data for progress against these.:

No new indicators

Timeframe and expected next steps:

Will continue development throughout 2021


Contact

Email: climate.change@gov.scot