The Government has confirmed that agricultural emissions will have to be cut by 22% to 30% by 2030.

Over 60 actions were announced for the agriculture sector to cut emissions by 2030 under the Climate Action Plan launched by Government on Thursday.

Overall, Ireland will have to reduce emissions by 51% by 2030.

As revealed by the Irish Farmers Journal this week, a cattle slaughter premium will see farmers paid to reduce the average age at slaughter of animals from 27 to 24 months by 2030.

Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue said this week that such a move would lead to a 12.5% reduction in methane emissions from the herd.

The plan aims to cut chemical fertiliser use to 325,000t by 2030. It aims to increase organically farmed land almost five-fold to 350,000ha.

It also aims to improve animal breeding and feeding and wants to develop carbon farming.


Under the plan, the Government is targeting to have at least 50,000ha under cover crops by 2030. It also wants to increase the area under the straw incorporation measure to cover 10% of tillage area.

"Farmers know the land better than anyone. We will empower farmers with a science-based approach, backed by robust research," the plan states.

"Farm practices that enable farmers to produce world-class food with a lower carbon footprint are key.

"The plan commits to using less chemical nitrogen and more targeted use of fertiliser, while maintaining the same level of grass growth through multispecies swards. Other measures include improving the genetics of our herds to reduce emissions and improve productivity."

More to follow.