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Rural affairs secretary visits Climate-Positive Farming Initiative at Glensaugh

Discussions at Balruddery Research Farm
"Farming and land use in general is facing several major challenges as a result of the climate and biodiversity crises and the work that we are doing at Glensaugh aims to support the land use sectors as they transition towards a sustainable future"

The Scottish Government’s Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs and Islands, Mairi Gougeon MSP, visited the James Hutton Institute’s Glensaugh Research Farm, near Laurencekirk, site of our Climate-Positive Farming Initiative.

Climate-positive farming is a transformational approach to farming that achieves net-zero or even negative carbon emissions, whilst also protecting and enhancing the natural assets of a farm and ensuring long-term financial sustainability of the farm business.

In addition to hearing about changes in land use and land management at the farm, Ms Gougeon was able to see the proposed location of the HydroGlen project, which seeks to use renewable energy from Glensaugh to produce sufficient green hydrogen to heat local houses, all the farm buildings and power the vehicles used on the farm and by residents. In doing so, HydroGlen will future-proof the farm against power and communication cuts due to the types of storms experienced recently and that are likely to occur more frequently in the future.

Ms Gougeon was briefed on the work of Hutton scientists to develop a new system being trialled at Glensaugh to understand and monitor changes in soil carbon from agricultural systems. Through a combination of ground-based sensors, remote sensing and high-performance computing, researchers creating a system that can monitor, report and verify changes in soil carbon and GHG emissions in near real time. The aim is to make the system available to users through a web interface and a mobile app.

The Cabinet Secretary also heard about the National Soil Archive which is maintained and hosted at the Institute’s Aberdeen site. The Archive, a collection of nearly 60,000 soil samples from 1,500 locations throughout Scotland, is a window into the past of Scotland’s soils and allows comparisons with current soil conditions to see how soil carbon and nutrient levels have evolved in response to changes in agricultural techniques. 

Professor Deb Roberts, the Institute’s Deputy Chief Executive, said: “It was great to be able to meet the Cabinet Secretary and colleagues and update them on the exciting developments at Glensaugh as well as the work we do to maintain Scotland’s long-term science capability. Farming and land use in general is facing several major challenges as a result of the climate and biodiversity crises and the work that we are doing at Glensaugh aims to support the land use sectors as they transition towards a sustainable future.”

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Printed from /news/rural-affairs-secretary-visits-climate-positive-farming-initiative-glensaugh on 27/09/22 08:55:25 PM

The James Hutton Research Institute is the result of the merger in April 2011 of MLURI and SCRI. This merger formed a new powerhouse for research into food, land use, and climate change.