Carbon Emissions – Know your number

As farmers, you are being asked to reduce GHG emissions from your farming system to control global warming. To do this you need to know the current carbon emissions for your farm. Over 54,000 dairy and beef farmers nationally have a carbon emissions figure available to them through their Bord Bia Farmer Feedback Report.

You will have received your report after the most recent audit or you can access it at, or call the help desk at 01-524 0410.

What is a carbon footprint?

A carbon footprint refers to how many GHGs are emitted from an activity, such as the production of milk or meat or driving a car or taking a flight.

The emissions of all GHGs (including CH4 and N2O) are expressed as carbon dioxide equivalents (CO2 Eq.) for reporting and comparison purposes. In farming, the production of every kg of milk or meat or grain has a carbon footprint.

How important is the carbon footprint figure?

Knowing your carbon footprint is just the start. Ultimately, farmers are expected to reduce total emissions by 22-30% by 2030. Reducing the carbon footprint of your farm has to be tied to reducing total emissions to help address climate change.

Where do I get my carbon footprint?

After each quality assurance audit, all certified dairy and beef farmers receive a Farmer Feedback Report from Bord Bia with their farm’s carbon footprint using a model developed by Teagasc. 

Steps to getting the most from your number

Completing the sustainability survey

In advance of a quality assurance audit, dairy and beef farmers must complete a sustainability survey which includes information on turnout and housing, manure management, concentrate feeding rates and fertiliser application data. Keep good records throughout the year to make it easier to complete the survey.

When you get your Farmer Feedback Report, check the accuracy of the information in it. Inaccurate data will result in an inaccurate carbon footprint. If there are issues call the help desk at 01-524 0410.


Check the carbon footprint figure on your farmer feedback report

Your most recent carbon footprint is displayed on the first page of the report, alongside your previous audit result (where available), and the typical carbon footprint of farms within your category. This will allow you to track your progress and benchmark your farm against similar systems nationally.

The carbon footprint for beef animals is expressed as carbon dioxide equivalents per kg of beef liveweight.

(Source: Teagasc)