The Agricultural Resource Efficiency Calculator – Agrecalc – has been identified in the Scottish Government National Testing Programme Phase 1 as the only carbon footprint calculator with consultant capacity to offer adviser-validated mitigation recommendations with its carbon audits.
Developed by SAC Consulting, the commercial arm of Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC), the farm carbon calculator aligns with the core principles set out in the Scottish Government’s vision of agriculture as a source of ‘high quality food production, climate mitigation and adaptation, and nature restoration’.
Julian Bell, Principal Consultant with SAC Consulting and Agrecalc Team Leader, said: “We are delighted Agrecalc has been recognised as a tool that actively paves the way towards efficient and profitable farming. The platform has been developed with farmers, crofters and agriculture consultants in mind.”
14K carbon reports to help make informed decisions
Celebrating 15 years since its inception, Agrecalc helps farmers make informed management decisions which result in both lower emissions and improved financial outcomes. The carbon emissions calculation tool has so far delivered more than 14,000 carbon reports and has made significant contributions to the bottom line of participants in the Beef Efficiency Scheme and through the Farm Advisory Service (FAS) one-to-one offering.
Mr Bell added: “We are expanding our mission to support farm businesses and all the supply chain actors in delivering carbon audits coupled with mitigation recommendations based on science and best practice.”
Rolling out on 29 May, 2022, Preparing for Sustainable Farming (PSF), Phase 1 of the National Test Programme, aims to support farmers and crofters to play their part in Scotland becoming a global leader in sustainable and regenerative agriculture.
PSF focuses on incentives to farmers and crofters to help them understand their carbon emissions and sequestration, identifying recommendations that can lower these emissions and increase efficiencies. This will help farmers and crofters futureproof their farms to create environmental and economically resilient businesses.
Andrew Lacey, SRUC’s Vice Principal Commercial and Head of SAC Consulting said: “We work to support a holistic approach to agriculture in Scotland and further afield - this means we believe in taking a whole farm approach to reducing emissions while improving profitability and productivity. SRUC and SAC Consulting are committed to delivering products and services that work on both increasing efficiency whilst reducing emissions, creating a sustainable food system for our future.
“The mitigation measures that come out of an Agrecalc carbon audit give farmers the information they need to take decisions on farm while helping increase resilience against weather extremes, hikes in input costs and changing market conditions.”
PAS 2050 compliant carbon audits reduce operating costs
Any calculator used in creating a carbon audit must conform to Publicly Available Standard (PAS) 2050. A carbon audit establishes a business’s carbon footprint, it identifies the sources and quantities of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions on farms, and areas where simple changes can lead to improved efficiency, and reduced operating costs and emissions.
There are two options currently being funded in the first phase of Preparing for Sustainable Farming (PSF) that Scottish farmers, crofters, and agricultural contractors can claim funding for: carbon audits, and soil sampling and analysis.
Businesses must have a carbon audit that is less than three years old, and it must comply with the PAS 2050. If either of these conditions is not met, a business can apply to have a new carbon audit completed, and are able to claim funding for it.
The Carbon Audit must be reviewed by an adviser accredited with Farm Business Adviser Accreditation Scheme for Scotland (FBAASS), who will recommend actions to be taken to reduce emissions. The SAC Consulting advisers are uniquely positioned to offer mitigation measures and explain the possible emission savings following the recommendations.
Find a FBAASS-accredited consultant here: Business contacts | Lantra - Scotland .
More information about the National Testing Programme: SRUC News Page: SRUC welcomes new National Test Programme | SRUC; Scotland’s Farm Advisory Service (FAS) [Home - Farm Advisory Service | Helping farmers in Scotland | Farm Advisory Service (fas.scot)], funded by the Scottish Government, and Farming for a Better Climate [Farming for a Better Climate - Farming for a Better Climate].