NFU to release livestock ‘myth buster’ to tackle misinformation on climate change
The NFU will publish a myth busting fact sheet about livestock and the environment to help farmers counteract misunderstanding and misinformation about the sector.
NFU to release livestock ‘myth buster’
Copies will be distributed at the Union’s farming conference on February 25 in Birmingham, and digital editions will be published on the NFU’s website.
NFU livestock board chairman Richard Findlay said: “Our Rethinking Ruminants document is specifically designed to help farmers promote the benefits of British livestock farming and counter some of the common misconceptions around our industry.
As farmers, we are the most valuable and effective advocates for what we do, so this is about giving the farming community the means to showcase it to the public.”
Ms Batters has previously encouraged farmers to engage positively with the public about the good things livestock farming does.
The myth buster is still under wraps, but the NFU’s booklet on ‘climate friendly farming’ gives a clue to the sorts of facts and figures farmers can expect.
'Myth buster' facts and figures
- Around 65% of UK farmland is best suited to growing grass (Defra)
- Emissions from UK beef production are about half the global average (UK government’s Committee on Climate Change)
- 87% of UK beef is produced using predominantly forage based diets (Defra)
- Introducing livestock and grass and clover leys into arable rotations benefits soil fertility (AHDB) and organic matter National Sheep Association)
- Livestock are critical to the lifecycle of certain wildlife – for example, the Large Blue Butterfly
- In the UK, 81% of total greenhouse gas emissions are carbon dioxide (CO2), 11% methane, and 4% nitrous oxide. In UK agriculture, 12% of emissions are CO2, 56% methane and 31% nitrous oxide (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy).
- Methane emissions from UK agriculture account for around 5.5% of the country’s total GHG emissions (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy), significantly lower than the estimated EU wide figure of around 9.1% of all emissions, in part due to the UK’s efficient production systems.
- Actively managed pastures that are grazed by livestock are a good carbon sink
The NFU has set a goal to make UK farming net zero on GHG emissions by 2040.