A new carbon decision support tool which aims to help farmers to compare assessment platforms is being piloted.

 The tool, launched by Innovation for Agriculture (IfA), compares the three most commonly used assessments  – Farm Carbon Calculator, Cool Farm Tool and Agrecalc.

Head of technical development at IfA, Stephen Briggs, says the tool has been developed in response to the increasing demand on both the farming and supply chain sectors to understand carbon footprinting.

“Farmers are under pressure to provide information on the carbon footprint of their business and to show how they are progressing towards reaching net zero emissions.

“It’s generally accepted that you must measure something to manage it, but there are approximately 35 tools or platforms that can be used to measure carbon in farm businesses,” he says.

“The tools vary in what they ask about livestock enterprises, the management practices they incorporate into their calculations, and whether they focus on emissions only or sequestration too. It’s difficult to know where to start.”

How it works

Stephen explains the new tool works by asking a series of yes/no and multiple choice questions. The results then indicate which carbon assessment tool is of most relevance based on the enterprise, farm management practices and data available to input.

“It’s a free and independent tool which can help identify which carbon assessment is most relevant to your farm business. It’s worth adding that once you’ve selected a tool and completed a carbon assessment, it’s best to use the same one for future assessments to ensure the results are comparable.”

Future ambitions

Stephen says the ambition is to add more platforms into the tool and continue to update it in line with future updates.

The tool is accessed via the IfA website.