Farmer Focus: Carbon credit sale won’t help farm neutrality

Oh boy it’s been cold, and the accompanying snow has presented the usual issues. However, one advantage of farming on the edge of the North Downs is good sledging slopes.

Unfortunately, my sledge snapped and there is some disagreement whether I am too old to invest in a new one. Luckily one of my recent 50th birthday presents was a coaster inscribed with the words: “If you haven’t grown up by the time you are 50 you don’t have to.”

Zoom and Teams – two applications I was unaware of a year ago – are fortunately immune to snow and the saving in travelling time has allowed me to attend many more meetings than I would have in normal times.

See also: Try this six-point health check for your oilseed rape crops

I’m now keen to put into practice some of the things I’ve learnt, including starter fertiliser for peas, and something I’ve wanted to try for years, following those peas with oilseed rape and seeing how it affects the economics of the whole rotation. If it goes horribly wrong I’ll blame it on a mid-life crisis.

I must not forget the webinar among the new methods of communication, and one of these has spurred me to further develop my use of nitrogen-fixing bacteria.

I tried an early product some 15 years ago to little effect, but have recently been applying such microbes at drilling.

There is even a local company that now has a product suitable for spraying that seems to have positive independent evidence behind it. The promise of more-efficient nitrogen use could not only have implications for the bottom line, but also the aim of carbon neutrality.

There is finally a serious push for this, which may make its way into legislation or premiums or even the long-talked-about sale of carbon credits.

But I’m in a quandary – if I sell my carbon credits I won’t be able to count them towards my farm’s carbon neutrality.

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