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Ireland | Beef Plan Movement Steps up Protest

On Wednesday the 10th of July an estimated 2,500 farmers took to the streets of Dublin to protest against the proposed Mercosur deal. The protest was organised by Beef Plan, a voluntary not for profit organisation set up in October 2018 by a small group of farmers from Meath (in Ireland’s centre-east). Since then, its membership has grown to over 20,000. So who are they and what do they want?  […]

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Ireland | Agriculture as part of a Just Transition

How can the agricultural sector in Ireland be part of a Just Transition to address inequality in the sector and tackle climate change? Agriculture is not only a significant contributor to greenhouse gas emissions in Ireland, it is also the most unequal sector in the Irish economy in income terms. When it comes to climate change and agriculture, we need to change how we think about the challenge of reducing emissions. Farmers and their communities must play a central role in planning climate action to ensure it is good for farmers as well as the planet. […]

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Czech Republic | “No Forests, No Water, No Future” – Part I: Bugs in the Ecosystem

Record droughts across Europe have been compounded in the Czech Republic by a plague of bark beetle that has jeopardized the nation’s forests. In a country where forestry and farming go hand in hand, every tree lost is a blow to the land, scuppering the soil’s capacity to store water and leaving it more vulnerable to erosion. To make matters worse, the vast fields of rapeseed that have become ubiquitous to Czech agriculture in recent years thanks to generous EU subsidies for biofuels have left the topsoil in a sorry state. […]

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20 Essential Earth Day Reads from ARC2020

Its Earth Day Monday 22nd and to celebrate we’ve selected our twenty favourite, most appropriate, most thought-provoking and compelling reads to get in the mood. From rewilding to climate change, pesticides bans to the role of livestock in climate-friendly farming, and a gripping personal account of front line action in the Paris COP 21 climate change talks….it’s all here! […]

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UK | Chapter 2 : Minimising Net GHG Emissions from Food Systems

What role does – or can – farming and food play in mitigating climate change? Retaining and storing carbon in the soils should be an obvious climate-change mitigation, improving soil fertility through the natural processes of grazing, returning animal manures, and using legumes to fix atmospheric nitrogen has the indirect benefit of reducing the farmer’s reliance on artificial nitrogen fertilisers manufactured using fossil fuels. […]

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Biochar – the Ultimate Tool to Make Farming More Sustainable?

Imagine there was a soil amendment that could be produced from waste biomass and could do the following: draw down carbon, increase soil fertility in acidic soils, increase yield and productivity – especially for the poorest farmers with the worst soil, reduce nutrient run off, improve water retention in soil, while also protecting against soil borne diseases? Say hello to biochar…. […]