Climate Action

UK Government launch scheme to reduce agricultural air pollution

Today, Defra have launched a new scheme to reduce air pollution in agriculture.

  • 18 September 2018
  • Rachel Cooper

Today, Defra have launched a new scheme to reduce air pollution in agriculture.

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs has invested £3 million in a plan to reduce ammonia emissions from agriculture.

Presently, Farming is responsible for 88 per cent of all UK emissions of ammonia gas. This is harmful to the environment and combine with other pollutants to form particulates which is damaging to human health.

The government has already agreed to reduce ammonia emissions by 8 per cent in 2020 and 16 per cent in 2030, compared to 2005 levels.

Nitrogen, in the form of Ammonia, is lost from organic matters, such as slurry, solid manure and compost, when they come into contact with air. Nitrogen is also lost from manufactured fertilisers during spreading. The more that this occurs the less effective the fertiliser is.

Therefore, by reducing ammonia emissions it is also improving agricultural efficiency by reducing the amount of manufactured fertiliser that farmers require.

Bob Middleton, Programme Manager at Catchment Sensitive Farming, said: “The UK loses £138m of nitrogen per year from ammonia emissions, so by taking action to reduce them, farmers can get more value from their manure and fertiliser and save money.”

The money will fund a team of specialists who will work with farmers and landowners to implement the measures to reduce ammonia emissions. The team will provide training events, tailored advice, individual farm visits and support with grant applications, all funded by the programme.

George Eustice, Farming Minister, said: “There is growing evidence that ammonia emissions can have significant impacts to parts of our environment so we want to help farmers play their part in reducing them. The specialist team of advisers leading this project can advise farmers on steps they can take, such as improved slurry handling facilities, and grants are available where investment is required.”

This news follow Michael Gove announcing the new Agriculture Bill to enhance and protect the environment.