A rollout of carbon benchmarking across farms in NI is still a number of months away, with DAERA starting the process of finding a supplier of a farm carbon calculator.

Last Friday a notice was published on an online site for public sector contracts. This notice is listed as a “pre-market engagement”, with the Department looking to “establish the level of market interest” among potential interested parties.

Returns are sought by Friday 12 April, with this process to be followed by a formal exercise which will look to appoint a supplier.

The successful party will be required to “provide the administration, delivery, support and maintenance of a farm carbon calculator”.

The online project description also clarifies that it will be DAERA who will provide the training to help NI farmers use the information received from the calculator, to take actions that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions on their farms.


To date in NI, the preferred option has been to use the Agrecalc carbon calculator originally developed by Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC). This calculator has been used by CAFRE and also in a pilot programme led by the Livestock and Meat Commission, which sought to assess how carbon surveys might be bolted onto the end of a farm quality assurance scheme inspection.

However, it remains to be seen if Agrecalc will secure the DAERA tender.

With estimates suggesting there could be as many as 60 calculators on the market, all potentially giving different results, having a single provider in NI is important if farmers are to have confidence in the carbon benchmarking process.