Publication - Independent report

Dairy Sector Climate Change Group: report

Published: 21 Jul 2021

Report from the Dairy Sector Climate Change Group, one of the farmer-led groups established to develop advice and proposals for the Scottish Government. It focusses on how to cut emissions and tackle climate change, something that was re-emphasised in the updated Climate Change Plan.

Dairy Sector Climate Change Group: report
Annex 4: Recommendations and Support Required

Annex 4: Recommendations and Support Required

5 Establishing the Baseline

Recommendation Actions / Examples Type of Support
Comparison of Carbon auditing tools to develop modular calculator using standardised set of assumptions and data. Scottish Government to commission Research Research and innovation
Pilot programme to carbon audit all farms in Scotland Phase 1 of new agricultural programme - full cost recovery for farmers Funding and investment
  Training and advice for farmers and advisers Advice and training
Ensure data collected from baseline exercise is useable and fed into the smart inventory to influence development and reflect Scottish agriculture. Scottish Government to fund research institutes Research and innovation
Development of scenario planning within the auditing tools Scottish Government to fund research institutes Research and innovation
Life Cycle analysis of a sample of Scottish Dairy Farms Scottish Government to fund research institutes Research and innovation
Develop a Whole farm Climate Review tool to enable farmers to identify the optimum set of plans and actions required to address the carbon balance on farm. Phase 2 of agricultural programme - full cost recovery for farmers Funding and investment
Undertake Life Cycle Analysis of a sample of Scottish Dairy Farms Scottish Government to fund research institutes Research and innovation

6.1.1 Genetic Efficiency

Recommendation Actions / Examples Type of Support
Support for genomic testing as part of a breeding programme Subsidise genomic testing of heifers Funding and investment
  Training and advice on developing breeding programmes Advice and training
 

Capital items, e.g.

  • On farm sensors
  • Data loggers
  • Precision measurement techniques
Funding and investment

6.1.2 Feeding Efficiency

Recommendation Actions / Examples Type of Support

Encourage adoption of low emission feeding strategies;

Support for feeding efficiency measures including precision feeding and feed additives:

  • In parlour feeders
  • Robot Feeding
  • Out of parlour feeding
  • Feed ration emission measurement / monitoring tools
  • Subsidise use of 3NOP once available
  • Further research into feed additives e.g. Asparagosis taxiformis, linseed, microbiome tech.
  • Training and advice for development of low emissions feeding strategies

Funding and investment

Research and innovation

Advice and training

Encourage increased feed efficiency and reduce feed waste (should be below 10%) through monitoring and improving intakes
  • Feed scales
  • Feed cameras
  • Weighted bins
Funding and investment

6.1.3 Energy Efficiency

Recommendation Actions / Examples Type of Support
Capital support for energy efficiency investments
  • Variable speed vacuum and milk pumps
  • Heat exchangers to pre-cool milk prior to entry to bulk tank
  • Heat recovery units and water storage tanks
  • LED lighting
  • Solar thermal heating
Funding and investment
Encourage and enable renewable energy investment on farm by removing barriers
  • Funding for anaerobic digestion plant (farm or community level)
  • Removal of barriers for grid connection
Funding and investment
 
  • Training and advice for famers and contractors on fuel efficiency and alternative fuel sources
Advice and training
 
  • Smart recording apps
Funding and investment

6.1.4 Herd Health and Management

Recommendation Actions / Examples Type of Support

Enable farmers to improve herd health including disease prevention, reduction in lameness and other general welfare measures to reduce mortality rates.

Develop key performance indicator matrix and collation to inform inventory and measure improvements

Capital support for improved efficiency

  • Herd health plans and recording of mortality as part of a Whole Farm Climate Review
  • Foot trimming equipment
  • Increased feed space
  • Footbaths
  • Hoof sprayers
  • Cattle tracks
  • Cubicle upgrades to allow more space
  • Encourage use of authenticated Key Performance Indicators
  • Livestock sensors
  • Monitoring technology
  • Robotic milking systems
  • Parlour improvements to allow 3x day milking

Advice and training

Funding and investment

Advice and training

Research and innovation

Funding and investment

Encourage farmers to develop herd fertility plans which maximise longevity and efficiency and reduce replacement numbers and include targets for improvement year on year

Reduce number of heifers failing to get to first calving (target 10%)

Reduce age at first calving (reduction in % calving over 24 months)

Encourage rearing healthy and robust youngstock

  • Lowering age of first calving
  • Increase average number of lactations
  • Body condition scoring
  • Improved Heifer accommodation - additional pens, ventilation, pasteurisers
  • self locking yokes for bulling heifers,
  • heat detection for heifers,
  • Colostrum quality testing
  • Blood sampling to test calf immunity
  • Calf jackets to maintain body temperature
  • Automatic calf feeders

Advice and training

Funding and investment

Funding and investment

Funding and investment

6.1.5 Grassland Management

Recommendation Actions / Examples Type of Support
Demonstration of best grassland management practice within different dairying systems in Scotland Funded monitor and demonstration farms developing best practice and transferring knowledge to farmers

Research and innovation

Advice and training

6.1.6 Nutrient Management

Recommendation Actions / Examples Type of Support

Facilitate better storage, management and application of organic manures

Encourage better soil pH management

Facilitate on farm anaerobic digestion of slurry by supporting establishment and running costs

  • Slurry storage capacity and slurry store covers
  • Research into health and safety aspects of covering slurry
  • Low emission spreading equipment (slurry)
  • Flexible tyres
  • Support regular soil testing as part of Whole Farm Climate Change review
  • Variable rate application equipment (fertiliser and lime)
  • Capital funding for AD and subsidised running costs

Funding and investment

Research and innovation

Funding and investment

Advice and training

Funding and investment

Funding and investment

6.2 Carbon Sequestration

Recommendation Actions / Examples Type of Support

Prioritisation for achieving recognition of the role of farmland in the sequestration and storage of carbon and enabling this to be taken into account in the smart inventory for agriculture.

Demonstration of best practice in soil carbon management and soil health

Encourage restoration and protection of peat soils

  • Research into measurement and inclusion of carbon sequestration in carbon auditing tools, which could inform inventory reporting
  • Funded monitor and demonstration farms developing best practice and transferring knowledge to farmers
  • Targeted funding for peatland restoration and management projects.

Research and innovation

Research and innovation

Advice and training

Funding and investment

Incentivise small scale tree and hedgerow/corridor planting with sequestration captured in the carbon audits and inventory for agriculture

Encourage planting for both biodiversity and carbon sequestration

Investigate the viability of other climate change mitigation techniques and technologies not yet widely adopted in the UK but used elsewhere in the world

  • Funding for planting
  • Support research into further refinement of the smart inventory and development of carbon auditing tools to include sequestration
  • Advice and training for farmers
  • Practical demonstration of the benefits through monitor farms and knowledge sharing
  • Include afforestation options in the Whole Farm Climate Review tool
  • Fund further research and piloting of biochar, and emerging Carbon Storage technologies

Funding and investment

Research and innovation

Advice and training

Research and innovation

7 Opportunity and Innovation

Recommendation Actions / Examples Type of Support
Active participation by government and industry in the GWP* debate
  • Research into the implications for the dairy sector and the supply chain.
Research and innovation
Capitalisation of low emission logistics and milk processing technology to secure export opportunities
  • Investment in low emission technologies within the supply chain
Funding and investment

Enable non-exclusive contracts to allow greater flexibility for farmers

Support joint ventures and co-operative opportunities

Enable farmers with carbon positive balance sheet to trade assets and develop income stream

  • Regulation of the supply chain to promote equitable trading conditions for all participants
  • Prioritise funding for collaborative and co-operative projects
  • Commissioning of commercially focussed research into opportunities for carbon trading and the regulatory framework needed.
  • Develop a regulated digital trading platform

Regulation

Funding and investment

Research and innovation

Regulation

8 Collaboration

Recommendation Actions / Examples Type of Support

Improved climate collaboration within the dairy supply chain, with government facilitation, to deliver greater transparency and sharing of best practice to deliver improved carbon efficiency.

Collaboration within the dairy supply chain to try to standardise Scope 3 reporting to ensure aligned objectives and the avoidance of duplication, working with the proposed Centre of Excellence to ensure it is informed by the latest scientific advice.

  • Centre of Excellence
Research and innovation
Collaboration within the banking sector on TCFD reporting to ensure aligned objectives and the avoidance of duplication, working with the proposed Centre of Excellence (Section 9.1) to ensure it is informed by the latest scientific advice.
  • Centre of Excellence
Research and innovation
Further exploration of opportunities for public private partnerships through supply chain collaboration and the Centre of Excellence (see 9.1 - A Centre of Excellence)
  • Centre of Excellence
Research and innovation
Prioritisation of investment in local and regional processing and increasing supply chain and milk field resilience.
  • Funding for capital projects with priority given to collaborative projects
Funding and investment
Creation of an Agricultural Climate Change Centre of Excellence as a single entity with scientific research and innovation at its heart, but with close links to farmers, advisers, suppliers, processors and retailers. Improved cross-industry communication, collaboration, knowledge transfer would be its core function, together with media communication.
  • Centre of Excellence

Research and innovation

Funding and investment

Advice and training


Contact

Email: are.futureruralframework@gov.scot