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Publication - Report

Draft climate change plan: draft third report on policies and proposals 2017-2032

Published: 19 Jan 2017
Part of:
Environment and climate change
ISBN:
9781786527431

Draft of the climate change plan, the third report on proposals and policies (RPP3) for meeting Scotland’s annual greenhouse gas emissions targets.

175 page PDF

1.9MB

175 page PDF

1.9MB

Contents
Draft climate change plan: draft third report on policies and proposals 2017-2032
14. Agriculture

175 page PDF

1.9MB

14. Agriculture

The agriculture sector includes activities related to livestock production and cultivation of land for food or energy crops.

14.1 Where we are now

14.1.1 The Agriculture and Related Land Use sector as defined in the GHG inventory has seen a fall of 3.6 MtCO 2e (25%) in emissions between 1990 and 2014, reducing them to 10.7 MtCO 2e (the definition of the sector used by TIMES shows the decline between 1990 and 2014 levels to be 14%.) This fall is mostly attributable to four factors:

  • efficiency improvements in farming, such as higher milk yields per cow
  • fewer cattle and sheep
  • a reduction in the amount of nitrogen fertiliser being applied
  • a reduction in grassland being ploughed for arable production

14.1.2 Almost half of the global warming impact of emissions from agriculture is from methane, which has 25 times the global warming effect of carbon dioxide, and around a quarter is from nitrous oxide, which has 298 times the warming effect of carbon dioxide. This is because most of the emissions in agriculture are from biological sources.

Figure 23: Agriculture historical emissions
Figure 23: Agriculture historical emissions

14.2 Our ambition

Figure 24: Agriculture carbon envelopes
Figure 24: Agriculture carbon envelopes

14.2.1 Low carbon farming is not only good for the planet, but also good for food producers' pockets. We want Scotland to be a world-class producer of high quality food: sustainably, profitably and efficiently in environmental and economic terms. The farming and food production sector is key to achieving this ambition - change will only happen with the involvement of primary food producers, so we will work with the sector - particularly tenant farmers - to recognise and realise the economic and environmental benefits of low carbon farming. We will help and support the environmental and economic sustainability of agriculture by encouraging and enabling more farmers and crofters to take up low-carbon farming.

14.2.2 Greenhouse gas emissions are inherent in all food production, so our focus needs to be on maximising efficiency. By protecting and enhancing our soil, tackling livestock disease, utilising the best technology and turning wastes into a resource, we can reduce emissions. These actions will result in improved animal health and welfare, cleaner water and air and increased farm profits. We will strive to turn best practice into standard practice and reduce dependence on expensive fertilisers, cut the associated costs of livestock disease and increase income from renewable energy.

14.2.3 By 2020, to help increase the efficient use of nitrogen fertiliser, we will work with farmers so that they know the pH of the soil on a third of their improved land. Primary food producers need to know how to cut their carbon footprint and to understand that doing so will also improve their profitability. By 2020, we will have encouraged farmers producing a substantial proportion of Scotland's agricultural output to have completed a carbon audit. Many farmers will also know the sources of greenhouse gas emissions from farm activities; and most livestock farmers will be taking new steps to improve the health of their herd to improve fertility, reduce mortality and tackle production diseases.

14.2.4 By 2030 most farmers will know the nutrient value of their improved soil and will be implementing best practice in nutrient management and application. We will have engaged with the agriculture sector to encourage increased planting of woodland/forestry and hedgerows on appropriate agricultural land, and disseminated information on the related economic benefits of good silvo-management practices. By 2030 we want most farmers to have considered and undertaken appropriate planting of woodland/forestry and hedgerows. Farmers and land managers may also be receiving payments to sequester carbon in soils, woodland/forestry and hedgerows.

14.2.5 By 2050 Scottish farmers will be making full use of technology to apply precision farming techniques across the board, and Scotland's land will be producing healthy, nutritious and high quality food while providing a substantial carbon sink that offsets emissions elsewhere.

14.3 Policy outcomes, policies, development milestones and proposals

Policy outcome 1: Farmers, crofters, land managers and other primary food producers are aware of the benefits and practicalities of cost-effective climate mitigation measures.

There are three policies, two policy development milestones and one proposal which will contribute to the delivery of policy outcome 1.

Policies which contribute to the delivery of policy outcome 1

1) Information and advice on climate change mitigation will be communicated and disseminated: from 2017 we will disseminate information and advice on climate change mitigation measures in agriculture through a range of communication methods, utilising technology and all media to best effect.

2) An agri-tech group will be established to share, disseminate and encourage adoption of advances in agricultural science and technology as widely as possible.

3) Climate Change Young Farming Champions will be recruited and trained to explain, promote and encourage low carbon farming

Development milestones which contribute to the delivery of policy outcome 1

1) Carbon Audits: in 2017, we will consult on how best to ensure maximum take up of carbon audits and how to enable tenant farmers and crofters in particular to benefit.

2) We will explore with Scottish Tenant Farmers Association how best to engage tenant farmers to increase understanding of the environmental and economic benefits of low carbon farming. The aim will be to determine what policies, support and advice tenant farmers need to undertake measures which will help them reduce emissions at farm level.

Proposal which contributes to the delivery of policy outcome 1

1) Marketing scheme: Introduce a Low Carbon Farming marketing scheme.

Policy outcome 2: Emissions from nitrogen fertiliser will have fallen through a combination of improved understanding, reduced application and better soil.

There are three policies and two proposals which will contribute to the delivery of policy outcome 2.

Policies which contribute to the delivery of policy outcome 2

1) Precision farming and nitrogen-use efficiency - communicate and demonstrate the benefits of precision farming and nitrogen use efficiency in order to achieve a reduction in nitrous oxide emissions.

2) Work with industry to develop a science-based target for reducing emissions from nitrogen fertiliser, by establishing the amount of nitrogen fertiliser Scottish soils need to produce an economically optimal crop, taking account of good practice in soil management.

3) From 2018 we will expect farmers to test the soil in all improved land every 5/6 years, and will work with them to establish how best to achieve this. This will be for pH, and we will consult on including testing for potassium and phosphorus.

Proposals which contribute to the delivery of policy outcome 2

1) Minimum leguminous crops in rotation.

2) Plant varieties with improved Nitrogen-use efficiency.

Policy outcome 3: Work with Quality Meat Scotland and others to reduce emissions from red meat and dairy through improved emissions intensity.

There are two policies, two development milestones and one proposal which will contribute to the delivery of policy outcome 3.

Policies which contribute to the delivery of policy outcome 3

1) In 2017, publish emissions intensity figures for beef, lamb and milk.

2) By working with Quality Meat Scotland and livestock producers, we will encourage improved emissions intensity through genotyping, improving fertility, reducing animal mortality and improving farm management practices.

Policy development milestones which contribute to the delivery of policy outcome 3

1) Establish target for reduction in the intensity of emissions for beef, sheep and dairy sectors.

2) Consult in 2017 to determine the nature of livestock health measures that the sector will adopt from 2018.

Proposal which contributes to the delivery of policy outcome 1

1) Livestock feed additives to reduce methane.

Policy outcome 4: Emissions from the use and storage of manure and slurry will have been reduced.

There are two policy development milestones and three proposals which will contribute to the delivery of policy outcome 4.

Policy development milestones which contribute to the delivery of policy outcome 4

1) Determine the potential feasibility of self-financing large-scale anaerobic digesters.

2) Engaging with farmers to explore their support requirements, establish how they can improve the use and storage of manure and slurry, including the potential for co-operatively owned and managed anaerobic digesters.

Proposals which contribute to the delivery of policy outcome 4

1) Inclusion of livestock grazing in rotation on current arable land.

2) Conduct a feasibility study for the establishment of manure/slurry exchange.

3) Determine how to consistently minimise emissions from slurry storage.

Policy outcome 5: The carbon content of soil and agricultural land will have improved through carbon sequestration and expanded woodland/forestry and hedgerows.

There is one policy and two proposals that contribute to the delivery of policy outcome 5.

Policy which contributes to the delivery of policy outcome 5

1) We will explore with the farming and forestry sectors how best to increase planting of trees and hedgerows which optimise carbon sequestration.

Proposals which contribute to the delivery of policy outcome 5

1) Payment for carbon sequestration

2) Woodland cover targets for agricultural land

14.4 Wider impacts

The following co-benefits have been identified for policies in the agricultural sector:

14.4.1 There are substantial potential economic benefits for farm business, and for the wider rural economy as a result, from the policies and proposals in this Plan. Almost all activities farmers can undertake to reduce emissions also make or save money - what is good for the planet is also good for their pocket. This includes identifying avoidable inefficiencies through carbon audits; reducing fertiliser costs and/or increasing yields though understanding the soil pH and increasing it where necessary, and through making use of organic fertiliser where practicable; reducing losses in livestock through infertility, mortality and ill health; and through generating income or cutting energy bills by producing renewable heat and electricity and using energy savings schemes.

14.4.2 There are also considerable potential benefits for air and water quality, animal welfare, soil health, and biodiversity through the policies, while the woodland/forestry proposal could significantly increase the implementation of natural flood management.

14.4.3 Farmers, crofters and land managers; other agricultural workers; and those in the agricultural supply chain. Those living in rural and island communities may benefit from improved air and water quality.

14.4.4 Farm and agricultural businesses should benefit through improved profitability for farming.

14.4.5 We have received extensive advice on optimising co-benefits from environmental, science and industry stakeholders, and this will continue as we consult on the implementation of these policies. Opportunities to optimise economic benefits will be explored through a Business and Regulatory Impact Assessment ( BRIA), covering all of the more significant policies. Environmental benefits will be secured through close working within Scottish Government, with agencies, and with other stakeholders. In particular, SEPA have been and will be fully engaged in the development of agricultural policies and proposals for this Plan.

Adverse side-effects to be managed

14.4.6 Improved profitability could encourage greater intensification in farming, with resultant negative impacts on biodiversity. This is not expected to happen, but it is a possibility.

14.4.7 Some communities may be concerned about the creation of new anaerobic digestion plants, and new renewable energy sources such as wind turbines. We will mitigate the potential for misunderstanding through engagement and communication. Existing planning mechanisms will manage any local development issues.

14.4.8 No adverse impacts expected for businesses or the third sector.

Existing agricultural regulation includes measures designed to protect biodiversity, and very substantial funding is provided to encourage uptake of measures that are beneficial to wildlife. These policies can be tailored if adverse side effects for biodiversity are anticipated.

14.5 Summary of policies, development milestones and proposals

Policy outcome 1: Farmers, crofters, land managers and other primary food producers are aware of the benefits and practicalities of cost-effective climate mitigation measures

Table 14-1: Policies which contribute to policy outcome 1

Policy

EU, UK or Scottish policy

Public sector partners

Delivery route

Information and advice on climate change mitigation will be communicated and disseminated: from 2017 we will disseminate information and advice on climate change mitigation measures in agriculture through a range of communication methods, utilising technology and all media to best effect

Scottish/European

None

We already provide advice to farmers on cost-effective mitigation measures, but these will be expanded principally by:

  • Increasing funding to Farming For a Better Climate, to expand its communications work. We are currently evaluating this programme and are sympathetic to extending it if there is demand.
  • Developing a carbon accumulator tool so that farmers can measure and get credit for reducing emissions and sequestering carbon.
  • Ensuring much of the £4.6 million we provide annually to the Farm Advisory Service is used for advice on mitigation, and funds 1,200 free carbon audits.
  • Create a Food, Farming and Climate roadshow, backed by a website, to share information with farmers and the public on the climate change issues in food and farming at agricultural shows and science events.
  • Disseminating specific advice to farmers.

Establish an agri-tech group

Scottish

None

We will create a group including technology and data providers, industry representatives and scientists, to share learning on advances in agriculture technology. This will enable farmers in Scotland to utilise the most appropriate tools, techniques and equipment to optimise crop yield and reduce their emissions intensity.

Recruit Climate Change Young Farming Champions

Scottish

None

Climate Change Young Farming Champions will be recruited and trained to explain, promote and encourage low carbon farming among their peers.

Table 14-2: Policy development milestones which contribute to policy outcome 1

Policy development milestone

Delivery route

Consult on how best to ensure maximum take up of carbon audits

Carbon audits are a great tool for highlighting cost-effective ways to reduce emissions, and many farmers have benefitted considerably through them. In 2017 we will consult on how best to ensure maximum take up of carbon audits, especially to help tenant farmers and crofters.

To develop a low carbon package for tenant farmers

We will explore with Scottish Tenant Farmers Association how best to engage tenant farmers to increase understanding of the environmental and economic benefits of low carbon farming. The aim will be to determine what policies, support and advice tenant farmers need to undertake measures which will help them reduce emissions at farm level.

Table 14-3: Proposals which contribute to policy outcome 1

Proposal

Delivery route

Marketing scheme: Introduce a Low Carbon Farming marketing scheme.

Farmers will be more likely to apply low carbon farming techniques if they can achieve a market premium for their product. In addition, through the policies in this Plan and our existing environmental requirements, farms in Scotland will be producing some of the lowest carbon food in the world. We therefore propose to explore creation of a marketing scheme that would generate recognition among consumers and increase demand for food produced using low carbon methods, similar to Origin Green in Ireland.

Table 14-4: Policy outcome 1 over time

Policy outcome 1

2017

2018

2019

2020

2021

Policy outcome as a consequence of policies listed above

200 farms will have free carbon audits

200 farms will have free carbon audits

Farmers will be exposed to advice and information on cost-effective mitigation measures from a wide range of trusted sources

Thousands of consumers will interact with information on low carbon food through roadshows and a website

200 farms will have free carbon audits

200 farms will have free carbon audits

200 farms will have free carbon audits

Policy outcome as a consequence of proposals listed above (once policies)

-

-

-

-

-

Total change in policy outcome as a result of policies and proposals

200 farms will have free carbon audits

200 farms will have free carbon audits

Farmers will be exposed to advice and information on cost-effective mitigation measures from a wide range of trusted sources

Thousands of consumers will interact with information on low carbon food through roadshows and a website

200 farms will have free carbon audits

200 farms will have free carbon audits

200 farms will have free carbon audits

Policy outcome 2: Emissions from nitrogen fertiliser will have fallen through a combination of improved understanding, reduced application and better soil.

Table 14-5: Policies which contribute to policy outcome 2

Policy

EU, UK or Scottish policy

Public sector partners

Delivery route

Precision farming and nitrogen-use efficiency

Scottish

None

Communicate and demonstrate the benefits of precision farming and nitrogen use efficiency in order to achieve a reduction in nitrous oxide emissions.

To develop a science-based target for reducing emissions from nitrogen fertiliser

Scottish

None

Work with industry to develop a science-based target for reducing emissions from nitrogen fertiliser, by establishing the amount of nitrogen fertiliser Scottish soils need to produce an economically optimal crop, taking account of good practice in soil management.

Soil testing

Scottish

None

From 2018 we will expect farmers to test the soil in all improved land every 5/6 years, and will work with them to establish how best to achieve this. This will be for pH, and we will consult on including testing for potassium and phosphorus.

Table 14-6: Proposals which contribute to policy outcome 2

Policy development milestone

Delivery route

Minimum leguminous crops in rotation

Legumes in rotation can significantly reduce nitrogen fertiliser need, though there are considerable economic factors to consider. We will explore the issues around creating a requirement that arable land has to include a leguminous crop in rotation, including any subsidy that farmers would require for doing so.

Plant varieties with improved Nitrogen-use efficiency

This measure would require the establishment of new breeding goals and the development of breeding programmes before improved nitrogen-use varieties would be available to farmers. This significant lead-up time has to be considered when developing policy instruments and accounting for the timing of the mitigation effects.

Table 14-7: Policy outcome 2 over time

Policy outcome 2

2017

2018

2019

2020

2021

2022

2023

2024

2025

2026-2032

Policy outcome as a consequence of policies listed above

More efficient use of nitrogen fertiliser through one sixth of improved land tested for pH

More efficient use of nitrogen fertiliser through one third of improved land tested for pH

More efficient use of nitrogen fertiliser through one half of improved land tested for pH

More efficient use of nitrogen fertiliser through two thirds of improved land tested for pH

More efficient use of nitrogen fertiliser through five-sixths of improved land tested for pH

More efficient use of nitrogen fertiliser through all improved land tested for pH

Policy outcome as a consequence of proposals listed above (once policies)

Reduction in nitrogen fertiliser applied, and increase in soil nitrogen, through more legume being grown

Reduced nitrogen fertiliser application through uptake of nitrogen efficient crops

Total change in policy outcome

Reduction in chemical nitrogen fertiliser being applied, and less nitrogen loss from soil

Reduction in chemical nitrogen fertiliser being applied, and less nitrogen loss from soil

Further reduction in chemical nitrogen fertiliser being applied, and less nitrogen loss from soil

Reduction in chemical nitrogen fertiliser being applied, and less nitrogen loss from soil

Reduction in chemical nitrogen fertiliser being applied, and less nitrogen loss from soil

Reduction in chemical nitrogen fertiliser being applied, and less nitrogen loss from soil

Further reduction in chemical nitrogen fertiliser being applied, and less nitrogen loss from soil

Policy outcome 3: Work with Quality Meat Scotland and others to reduce emissions from red meat and dairy through improved emissions intensity

Table 14-8: Policies which contribute to policy outcome 3

Policy

EU, UK or Scottish policy

Public sector partners

Delivery route

Publish emissions intensity figures for beef, lamb and milk

Scottish

None

In order to reduce the carbon footprint of the food we produce, we need to lower the emissions associated with each kilo of beef or lamb, and each litre of milk. In 2017 we will publish metrics to allow us to measure these figures, so that we can lower emissions without reducing the amount of food we produce.

By working with Quality Meat Scotland and livestock producers, we will encourage improved emissions intensity through genotyping, improving fertility, reducing animal mortality and improving farm management practices

Scottish/ EU

None

By working with Quality Meat Scotland and livestock producers, we will encourage improved emissions intensity through genotyping, improving fertility, reducing animal mortality and improving farm management practices.

Table 14-9: Policy development milestones which contribute to policy outcome 3

Policy development milestone

Delivery route

Establish target for reduction in the intensity of emissions for beef, sheep and dairy sectors

Once we have a metric for emissions intensity, we will set targets for reduction in the intensity of emissions. We expect this to be annual percentage targets compared with a baseline year.

Consult in 2017 to determine the nature of livestock health measures that the sector will adopt from 2018

There are four main options available, with a combination of them possible:

  • The establishment of one or more mandatory disease eradication schemes. This would place requirements on farmers to control the disease, as we have done for BVD.
  • The establishment of one or more schemes focused on syndromes rather than diseases, such as calf/lamb mortality or infertility.
  • Vet-approved health plans.
  • Using market forces by requiring testing and declaration before sale of the most important production diseases.

We have conducted research and discussed these options with industry, and will seek to find wide consensus for the type of scheme to be implemented.

Table 14-10: Proposals which contribute to policy outcome 3

Proposal

Delivery route

Livestock feed additives to reduce methane

Assessment of the existing evidence for a wide range of feed additives that have been reported as reducing methane emissions from enteric fermentation suggests that there is some scope to reduce emissions by including lipids (fats) in rations, and in future through new additives not yet ready for market. Further work is being undertaken to establish logistical and supply chain issues such as consumer response, land-use implications from creating the additives, and handling, transportation and storage issues. We also need to identify potential delivery mechanisms to encourage uptake.

Table 14-11: Policy outcome 3 over time

Policy outcome 3

2017

2018

2019

2020

2021

2022

2023

2024

2025-2032

Policy outcome as a consequence of policies listed above

Improvement in livestock health, mortality and fertility, contributing to emissions intensity target (to be set)

Improvement in livestock health, mortality and fertility, contributing to emissions intensity target (to be set)

Improvement in livestock health, mortality and fertility, contributing to emissions intensity target (to be set)

Improvement in livestock health, mortality and fertility, contributing to emissions intensity target (to be set)

Improvement in livestock health, mortality and fertility, contributing to emissions intensity target (to be set)

Policy outcome as a consequence of proposals listed above (once policies)

Increased use of livestock feed additives to reduce methane from enteric fermentation.

Increased use of livestock feed additives to reduce methane from enteric fermentation

Increased use of livestock feed additives to reduce methane from enteric fermentation

Increased use of livestock feed additives to reduce methane from enteric fermentation

Increased use of livestock feed additives to reduce methane from enteric fermentation

Total change in policy outcome as a result of policies and proposals

Improvement in livestock efficiency

Improvement in livestock efficiency

Improvement in livestock efficiency

Improvement in livestock efficiency and reduction in methane from enteric fermentation

Improvement in livestock efficiency and reduction in methane from enteric fermentation

Improvement in livestock efficiency and reduction in methane from enteric fermentation

Improvement in livestock efficiency and reduction in methane from enteric fermentation

Improvement in livestock efficiency and reduction in methane from enteric fermentation

Policy outcome 4: Emissions from the use and storage of manure and slurry will have been reduced.

Table 14-12: Policy development milestones which contribute to policy outcome 4

Policy development milestone

Delivery route

Determine the potential feasibility of self-financing large-scale anaerobic digesters

We will determine the feasibility of one or more viable large-scale AD plants, mostly using slurry and other wastes as feedstock, accounting for end-to-end issues such as use of digestate, grid connection and feedstock availability.

Engage with farmers to explore the potential for co-operatively owned and managed anaerobic digesters

We will determine the feasibility of creating a number of co-operatives of around 10 farms each to operate viable AD plants, mostly using slurry and other wastes as feedstock, accounting for end-to-end issues such as use of digestate, grid connection and feedstock availability. This may see one of the farmers having responsibility to manage the AD plant and transport feedstock and digestate, backed by a maintenance contract. We will encourage use of CARES funding to maximise community benefit. The number, location and timing of these will depend on factors such as planning permission and financing.

Table 14-13: Proposals which contribute to policy outcome 4

Proposal

Delivery route

Inclusion of livestock grazing in rotation on current arable land

Initial evidence suggests abatement could be delivered by restoring livestock grazing in rotation on current arable land. This would reduce the amount of nitrogen fertiliser needed on that land, improve soil health, and increase soil carbon. Further work is required to consider associated emissions and logistics.

Manure/slurry exchange

Evidence suggests that moving manure or slurry from cattle farms to arable farms could be a cost-effective option that delivers abatement through a reduced need to use chemical fertilisers. We will conduct a feasibility study to consider logistics, demand, and the potential for abatement when considering storage requirements and transport.

Minimise emissions from slurry storage

Emission from slurry storage can be minimised through methods such as fixed roofs, slurry bags or floating covers. Initial evidence suggests the cost is high and the amount of abatement low, and there are significant potential health and safety and environmental issues to overcome. However, further evidence is required before decisions can be made.

Table 14-14: Policy outcome 4 over time

Policy outcome 4

2017

2018

2019

2020

2021

2022

2023

2024

2025-2032

Policy outcome as a consequence of policies listed above

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

Policy outcome as a consequence of proposals listed above (once policies)

Increase in number of anaerobic digester plants using slurry

Greater use of organic fertiliser on arable land

More slurry store coverage

Increase in number of anaerobic digester plants using slurry

Greater use of organic fertiliser on arable land

More slurry store coverage

Increase in number of anaerobic digester plants using slurry

Greater use of organic fertiliser on arable land

More slurry store coverage

Increase in number of anaerobic digester plants using slurry

Greater use of organic fertiliser on arable land

More slurry store coverage

Increase in number of anaerobic digester plants using slurry

Greater use of organic fertiliser on arable land

More slurry store coverage

Total change in policy outcome as a result of policies and proposals

Increase in number of anaerobic digester plants using slurry

Greater use of organic fertiliser on arable land

More slurry store coverage

Increase in number of anaerobic digester plants using slurry

Greater use of organic fertiliser on arable land

More slurry store coverage

Increase in number of anaerobic digester plants using slurry

Greater use of organic fertiliser on arable land

More slurry store coverage

Increase in number of anaerobic digester plants using slurry

Greater use of organic fertiliser on arable land

More slurry store coverage

Increase in number of anaerobic digester plants using slurry

Greater use of organic fertiliser on arable land

More slurry store coverage

Policy outcome 5: The carbon content of soil and agricultural land will have improved through carbon sequestration and expanded woodland/forestry and hedgerows

Table 14-15: Policies which contribute to policy outcome 5

Policy

EU, UK or Scottish policy

Public sector partners

Delivery route

Increase planting of trees and hedgerows

Scottish

None

We will explore with the farming and forestry sectors how best to increase planting of trees and hedgerows which optimise carbon sequestration.

Table 14-16: Proposals which contribute to policy outcome 5

Proposal

Delivery route

Payment for carbon sequestration

We are exploring mechanisms for paying farmers and other land managers to reduce emissions and/or sequester carbon in woodland/forestry, hedgerows and soils (including peat). This has been a long-term ambition in many countries but working examples are very rare. We will explore options for developing a payment scheme for carbon sequestration and other benefits, but this is an extremely complex area and many issues need to be resolved first.

Woodland/forestry cover targets for agricultural land

The Scottish Government has ambitious woodland creation targets to contribute towards reducing emissions. Using the Land Capability for Agriculture classification, local Forestry and Woodland Strategies, evidence on flood prevention and other appropriate information we will work with stakeholders to identify areas that have potential for sustainable woodland/forestry creation.

Table 14-17: Policy outcome 5 over time

Policy outcome 5

2017

2018

2019

2020

2021

2022

2023

2024-2032

Policy outcome as a consequence of policies listed above

Increase in the area of new woodland/forestry on agricultural land

Increase in the area of new woodland/forestry on agricultural land

Increase in the area of new woodland/forestry on agricultural land

Increase in the area of new woodland/forestry on agricultural land

Increase in the area of new woodland/forestry on agricultural land

Increase in the area of new woodland/forestry on agricultural land

Policy outcome as a consequence of proposals listed above (once policies)

Evidence-based geospacial targets lead to Scottish agriculture significantly contributing to the national 16,000 ha new planting target

Evidence-based geospacial targets lead to Scottish agriculture significantly contributing to the national 16,000 ha new planting target

If a viable scheme can be developed, we will begin paying farmers and other land owners for sequestering carbon in soils, woodland/forestry, and hedgerows

Evidence-based geospacial targets lead to Scottish agriculture significantly contributing to the national 16,000 ha new planting target

Evidence-based geospacial targets lead to Scottish agriculture significantly contributing to the national 16,000 ha new planting target

Evidence-based geospacial targets lead to Scottish agriculture significantly contributing to the national 16,000 ha new planting target

Total change in policy outcome as a result of policies and proposals

Increase in woodland/forestry on agricultural land

Increase in woodland/forestry on agricultural land

Increase in woodland/forestry on agricultural land, and carbon content of soil

Increase in woodland/forestry on agricultural land, and carbon content of soil

Increase in woodland/forestry on agricultural land, and carbon content of soil

Increase in woodland/forestry on agricultural land, and carbon content of soil

14.6 Progress since RPP2

Table 14-18: Progress on RPP2 policies

RPP2 Policies

Summary of progress

Doubling the number of Climate Change Focus Farms in Farming For a Better Climate from four to eight

Nine new Focus Farmers were engaged and are currently part of Farming For a Better Climate ( FFBC). Evidence on the impact of the policy suggests that farmers who engage with it find it very valuable, but not enough are aware of it. We now have a policy to extend FFBC to enable more farmers to benefit from the lessons learned.

Table 14-19: Progress on RPP2 prosposals

RPP2 Proposals

Summary of progress

90% uptake of fertiliser efficiency measures

This proposal has been superseded by the requirement for nutrient management planning on grassland as a result of CAP Greening, the policy outcome of a 10% reduction in emissions from inorganic nitrogen, the policy for compulsory soil testing, and the proposal for a nitrogen budget for Scotland.

Developments in agricultural technologies post 2020

Agricultural equipment manufacturers, suppliers and consultants have continued to develop technologies and practices to support precision farming. In this Plan we have policies and proposals that will help encourage uptake of novel and existing agricultural technologies through advice and support for finance.


Contact

Email: Kirsty Lewin

Phone: 0300 244 4000 – Central Enquiry Unit

The Scottish Government
St Andrew's House
Regent Road
Edinburgh
EH1 3DG