The EU agriculture committee resumed on Wednesday morning after the summer recess and they certainly have plenty of important business to get on with.

On Wednesday, they voted in favour of establishing a framework that could value on-farm carbon removals and establish a trading mechanism. The exact detail on how farmers can engage in this is not yet clear as we go to press.

However, one would expect that rewetting, more hedgerows, increasing soil carbon levels by establishing permanent grassland, and forage crops, among other measures will surely all play some part in this. It should join the dots in the carbon cycle to some extent.


Currently farmers are continuously getting exposed and landed with the emissions from farming and are not allowed to benefit or get credit for the sequestration or improvement of carbon stocks on farms.

This week, Amy Forde highlights one study on a 230 hectare raised bog in Galway where methane emissions actually increased following rewetting.

However, the authors of the report say in 50 years’ time, the warming potential of the area is projected to be less than if the drained bog had not been rewet.

The level of rewetting for much of this bog brought the water table above the surface, so realistically that rules out livestock on this area. For me, this is one extreme and may well be part of a solution for some parts of the country.

However, there is much more to be gained by engaging with all farmers on areas that can increase carbon stocks in soil, above ground and in new initiatives that fit as part of existing farm businesses.

Undoubtedly a much overdue, long-awaited and significant positive development.

Upturn on the way

We have been promised a settled spell of weather for a number of weeks, but it has failed to materialise for the majority of farmers.

Farmers will be hoping the better weather promised over the next week will help those on heavy soils that are feeling the pinch at grazing, but also those with second cut silage and harvest to gather up. Farmers are badly in need of a lift and this hopefully will help.