South Africa has a population of around 59 million people. Of this population, there are only around 40 thousand commercial farmers. This means that each farming unit provides food for around 1475 people. Now that is a lot of mouths to feed!
There are seven farms which have negative net carbon emissions for the duration of this study. That is amazing! It completely changes the narrative of the negative impact of dairy farming.
Livestock, farming, farmers, meat – they are all often just grouped into one category and linked to negative environmental impacts. This is very unfair.
We have been very encouraged to see improvements. Most farmers working with us have really shown a strong desire to improve the sustainability of their farms.
Climate change is a huge challenge facing society, and dairy farms are often pointed at as having a large carbon footprint.
Rebecca Burgess, founder of the Fibershed project says that, “our soils have a carbon debt; the atmosphere is gushing with carbon. The carbon over our heads is literally in the wrong place” and this couldn’t be truer.
True sustainable, regenerative agriculture will reverse the negative impact of conventional agriculture and result in sustainable food production.
Taking all this into account, methane is a huge problem. But is it? Recent research has challenged whether methane should be treated in the same manner as carbon dioxide when it comes to its impact on climate change.
Graham’s keynote presentation, Managing N and C to maximise farm performance, truly resonated with the audience. Many of the farmers in attendance are already in transition towards sustainable farming while others are not quite there yet.
What is more important is becoming conscious of how our food is produced, no matter where it comes from. This especially includes considering what it would have taken for food to arrive on the shelves of your local supermarket.