Nine greenhouse gas workshops were run as part of the Dairy Action for Climate Change, and targeted rural professionals around New Zealand who wanted to hear about the science of climate change, mitigation options available to farmers, and how they can help their farmer clients reduce emissions.
“Addressing on-farm emissions – methane, which is formed when ruminant animals burp, and nitrous oxide, formed when nitrogen escapes into the atmosphere – is one of the most challenging issues facing the dairy and food producing sectors, globally and in New Zealand,” says Ms Lok.
“Many farmers are already doing things on-farm that lower greenhouse gas emissions; such as planting trees, and better soil management to reduce nitrogen leaching.
“Then there are the other science-based endeavours that are well underway, like the research to breed cows that produce fewer methane emissions, and the possibility of a methane inhibiting vaccine in the future.
“Many farmers are just starting this journey towards lowering their emissions, and rural professionals have an important part to play in providing consistent advice to them about how to go about it.
“Feedback from participants has been great. While they understand there is no silver bullet, they now know what options farmers can adopt right now. I hope this translates to the message getting out to farmers about what emissions reduction options they can implement.
“While our dairy sector is one of the most emissions efficient producers in the world, we know more action is required to address our emissions over the longer term. Rural professionals can make a difference by providing the leadership to ensure knowledge transfers to the farming community.”
DairyNZ will be running climate change workshops for farmers in early 2018.
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