Dagan James of XR Farmers said:
“Radical and far reaching policies for farming need to be put in place urgently. The CCC report is moving in the right direction, but for farming to become part of the solution to the climate and ecological emergency, we need to go much further. 
“We need to ensure Government puts in place policies that really start to make the necessary change happen. All signs so far indicate that this is not happening. 2020 is the year of ambition, not inaction.”
Niels Corfield, an independent farming advisor on soil health and regenerative agriculture specialist, said:
“The CCC report today is unambitious when we need to be thinking bigger. We need a strong farmer to farmer knowledge exchange system, supporting farmers and land managers to transition to regenerative agriculture practices. Connecting people back to nature and understand how we get our food, energy while also supporting biodiversity. The key way to achieving all of these greater outcomes is through education and on-farm research.
“Rather than just “planting more trees”, management is the key. Unless trees are growing rapidly and are in good health they will not sequester adequate levels of carbon. The low-hanging fruit is really to bring existing woodlands and tree cover under “continuous canopy” sustainable management which will increase capacity in the existing forestry sector and help establish new woodlands and agroforestry. mAgroforestry should be seen as one of the key routes to achieve these numbers of new tree plantings as they will help existing production of pasture and cropping – both of which can and should be become negative in their own right – and aiding biodiversity at the same time.
“In terms of encouraging low-carbon farming practice, we really we need to be increasing the ambition when it comes to core farm and land management practices. All farming practices can and should be regenerative, in other words “gross zero carbon”a.
“We should always be finding new ways to apply the soil health principles – living roots, covered soil, minimise tillage, maximise diversity. In pasture and grazing management, adaptive multi paddock grazing is highly indicated. Carbon drawdown in these systems can be rapid and permanent, improving water infiltration, mitigating against floods and drought while increasing forage quality and animal health.
“For bioenergy, cropping and pasture should have actively managed trees integrated as agroforestry, to increase diversity and fulfill our bioenergy objectives. These new tree and energy crop plantings should themselves be diversified as opposed to mono crop willow plantings for instance. This diversity of tree plantings will bring resilience and the system as a whole and there is no reason why these can also be improved varieties.”
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