25 Aug 2021, 13:16
Kerstine Appunn

New guidelines for farmers to protect soils and store carbon

Clean Energy Wire

Humus build-up and a more climate resilient choice of field crops are among the main targets of Germany’s new “Arable farming strategy 2035”, which was presented by the Federal agriculture ministry in Berlin. Compared to eco-schemes under the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), the national farming strategy has a more holistic approach, providing farmers with concrete options and measures that focus both on a healthier soil and the financial well-being of farmers, agriculture minister Julia Klöckner (CDU) said at a press conference. The strategy proposes 60 measures under 12 action fields, e.g. increased crop diversity by expanding rotations, not only with wheat, maize and barley but also including spelt, oats, soya, peas and beans. Farmers should be supported and rewarded when storing carbon in their soils, for example through humus build-up or through the introduction of new cultivation systems (e.g. agroforestry).

The ministry’s farming strategy is not a legislative proposal but is to serve as a guideline for farmers when they implement existing regulations and help them with new developments in the agriculture sector. Germany’s agriculture sector is responsible for around 9 percent of the country’s greenhouse gas emissions.

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