How farm woodlands can help with climate change
Diversification of farm business will help it adapt to the effects of climate change
Climate change presents many challenges for farming communities. Farming methods have to adapt.
Increased summer droughts, milder winters, extreme weather and flooding are challenging. You have to think more about pest and disease control, crop variety, and how unpredictable weather impacts harvest times and produce quality.
The changing climate can provide business opportunities. It offers the chance to expand into new markets. Where agriculture is no longer feasible, woodlands can work. This can help diversify farm income and provide alternative land uses.
Contribution to emissions
The Scottish Government hopes to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80%, by 2050. Scottish farming contributes 13% of total Scottish emissions. Farms can make a real difference in realising this reduction.
(For more details of the 13% figure, see the Scottish Agricultural College website.)
Improving your farm’s carbon credentials
Farm woodlands can lower carbon emissions and help reduce your costs. They can strengthen your business by ensuring it adapts to the effects of climate change.
Planting trees can help control soil erosion. This benefits your land and locks carbon into the soil and vegetation.
Woodfuel is a significant growth industry. The government offers incentives and funding for growing woodfuel trees.
As well as creating income, woodfuel can help reduce energy costs and carbon emissions. Burning wood for heating and power is an efficient, low carbon alternative to gas and oil. Carbon released when burning wood is recaptured by growing new trees.
- There is funding available for renewable energy developments. For information and advice on woodfuel go to www.usewoodfuel.co.uk.
- Forestry Commission Scotland is conducting trials on growing woodfuel-specific crops through short rotation forestry/coppicing. See energy forestry exemplar trials.
- The Scottish Agricultural College has advice on how farming can tackle climate changes: www.sac.ac.uk/climatechange/farmingforabetterclimate/
- Advice on helping your farm business in a changing economic and environmental climate: www.farmingfutures.org.uk/