Carbon Audits Begin as Part of Beef Efficiency Scheme

Farmers participating in the Scottish Beef Efficiency Scheme (BES) will undertake a carbon audit in the coming weeks and months which will form part of a farm advisor visit which will be part of the scheme.

NFU Scotland believes that farmers and crofters will begin to receive their first BES payments in October following almost two years of calf genomic sampling and recording data on calf performance.

The Carbon Audit will look at a participant’s whole business, not just their beef enterprise, and will then allow farmers to produce a management change that they would like to make to reduce their carbon footprint.

NFU Scotland Vice President Martin Kennedy, who undertook his Carbon Audit yesterday, said: “It was a positive to have an advisor come to the farm and walk me through the Carbon Audit on the computer. Together we looked at the performance of both inputs and outputs and this let me see where I wanted to make a change.

“It’s important to stress that while the scheme requires me to produce three management changes I don’t have to achieve them as part of the scheme, and only one of these has to be produced during the Carbon Audit.

“For example, I could produce management decision that I want to move to rotational grazing, but if I get a run of awfully wet years that stand in the way of what I want to do there won’t be any blow back on payments through the scheme.

“Like others I was frustrated with the scheme last year when I received tissue sampling tags long after I had sold the calves in question, but separating the calf sampling issue from the advisory services portion of the scheme I was generally happy with how my visit went.

“I’d encourage members to see this as an opportunity to look at what they’re doing. As farmers we are always looking at what we can improve, but we don’t always have someone on farm to bounce ideas off.”

Notes to Editors

  • A photograph of Vice President Martin Kennedy undertaking his Carbon Audit is available by contacting


Contact Douglas Ross on 0131 472 4108

Author: Douglas Ross

Date Published:

News Article No.: 157/17

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