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Stackyard News Jan 08

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    Pig Farmers are Keen to Combat Climate Change

The latest survey results by Farming Futures find that 81 per cent of pig farmers questioned report that they are taking action to combat climate change on farm.



Although climate change presents opportunities for pig farmers - and 22 per cent of those surveyed cite warmer weather as a climate change benefit; climate change also presents risks. Managing these risks through adaptation is key to business success in the future.

In 2007, farmers have faced serious challenges from the dry spring, new diseases and summer floods, highlighting the need to be aware of, and manage these risks. By recognising their responsibilities and taking action now, farmers and land managers can reduce risk and take advantage of new business opportunities presented by climate change.

Pig farmers are urged to use the resources to find out how they can be part of the solution to climate change and to speak with their animal nutritionists for technical support.

Hilary Benn, Secretary of State said: "It is really encouraging to see from the Farming Futures survey that awareness of climate change among farmers is growing. I look forward to now seeing the industry go further in recognising its responsibilities to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and in turning awareness into practical action on the ground."

Peter Kendall, NFU President said: "Farming faces a great threat with increasing, unpredictable weather and the effect climate change is having on the environment across the world. This will impact on global markets, as we have already seen. As farmers we cannot afford not to rise to the challenges this presents, as well as reducing our own environmental impact. Agriculture is uniquely placed to provide solutions to the great issues of food, energy an environmental security and we need to see coherent thinking from Government across its policy-making to ensure farmers can prepare for the challenges that lie ahead."

Henry Aubrey-Fletcher, President of the CLA said: "The Farming Futures survey results also show that 22 per cent of farmers want to measure their on-farm emissions. The CLA's Calm calculator will soon offer the opportunity of a freely available, on-line, business-based approach for farms and estates to calculate their annual emissions and the carbon sequestration of the key greenhouse gases associated with the activities of land-based businesses.

"Land managers can then begin to understand, quantify and manage greenhouse gas emissions and take advantage of the opportunities that climate change presents."

David Caffall, Chief Executive of the AIC said: there are around 4000 professional advisers offering latest advice. Many supply companies are running workshops to assist their customers in achieving input efficiencies. Support is also available from animal nutritionist and feed formulators.

Graham Jellis, HGCA Research Director said: "These results show that farmers can be part of the solution. We need to see more action now, so that farmers and growers can take advantage of the opportunities that climate change presents, and prepare for the risks."

Farming Futures is a communications collaboration between the NFU, CLA, AIC, ARF, Defra and Forum for the Future. It aims to raise awareness of the opportunities, risks and responsibilities presented to farmers and land managers by climate change.

The project, which has recently secured £250,000 in funding from Defra's Secretary of State, will re-launch at the Oxford Farming Conference on 3 January 2008.

link NADIS Pig Health Report for November 2007
link NADIS Pig Health Report for October 2007
link Heavier Pigs Hitting The Market

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