Agricultural Emissions

The EPA  projected that total emissions from agriculture would  decrease by 5 per cent over the period 2008-2020. It has reduced 7.3 per cent since 1990. There are three main sources of greenhouse gas emissions in agriculture:

enteric fermentation,

agricultural soils and

manure management


Reductions in GHG have been encouraged by the State agricultural research organisation Teagasc, which carries out research and encourages farming practices which minimise emissions. Grants are made to encourage environmentally friendly farming. Some methane emissions have been secured by a reduction in the national herd. Implementation of the Water Framework Directive and Directive 91/676 on nitrates contribute to GHG reductions and the entire country has been declared a Nitrate Vulnerable Zone.


Member States may include emissions and removals from activities related to land use, land use change and forestry (LULUCF) towards meeting the 20 per cent reduction target (relative to 1990) in 2013. Carbon sequestration by eligible forests in Ireland is currently estimated at 2.074 million tonnes per annum..


The Department of Agriculture and Food’s specialised section, COFORD, has funded a number of projects to encourage thinning in the private forestry sector and to develop markets for the small diameter timber produced by thinning, particularly to the renewable energy sector where there is an increasing demand for energy wood in the form of small diameter logs from thinning operations. In addition, the forest road scheme operated by the Department of Agriculture and Food provides grant aid for the construction of forest roads to facilitate timber extraction from thinning in private forests in a cost-effective manner. Some reductions in agricultural emissions have resulted from external factors such as Common Agricultural Policy reform.


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Draft Articles; The articles on this website are in draft form and are subject to further review for typographical errors and, in some cases, updating and correction. It is intended to include references to the sources of materials and acknowledgements in the final version. The content of articles with [EU] in the title and some of the articles in the section on Agriculture are a reproduction of or are based on European or Irish public sector information.

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