93% of Irish farmers want to reduce their carbon footprint

93% of Irish farmers want to reduce their carbon footprint, according to a survey.

IFAC’s Irish Farm Report 2020 was published in full this week and it reveals that farmers are becoming increasingly conscious of the environmental impact they are having.

93% of farmers who participated in the survey want to reduce their carbon footprint and 73% favour additional grant aid to invest in renewable energy including wind, solar and LED. 

‘Investing in solar energy helps diversify farm income’

According to IFAC, interest in renewable energy as “a means of diversifying farm income” has been growing in recent years.

“More than two-thirds of land in Ireland is grassland. To reduce grassland greenhouse gas emissions, 55% of this year’s respondents said they would use alternative fertilisers, such as protected urea,” according to the report.

“Other measures to reduce carbon footprint include increasing the area of land under forestry or other carbon storing options.”

24% of the survey respondents believe that some Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) funding should go towards environmental measures, while 91% of respondents believe that carbon tax collected from the agri-sector should be ring-fenced for use on farm initiatives. 

“Investing in solar energy also helps diversify farm income. Solar panels on dairy, beef and tillage farms can now qualify for the Targeted Agricultural Modernisation Scheme (TAMS) grant aid,” the report continued.

“In regions with suitable wind patterns, farmers can obtain a good return on investment through the sale of electricity to the national grid.”