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Environment

Defra publishes new guide for reducing ammonia emissions

27th Jul 2018 / By Alistair Driver

Defra has published a new guide setting out the steps farmers, advisors and contractors can take to reduce ammonia emissions and help improve air quality.  

The voluntary Code of Good Agricultural Practice (COGAP) for Reducing Ammonia Emissions sets out simple steps all farmers can take to reduce emissions, such as using a nutrient management plan to calculate fertiliser application rates.

It also includes more significant changes to slurry storage, spreading equipment and infrastructure, alongside innovative techniques such as slurry and digestate acidification and separation.

The guide includes information on how to reduce emissions when:
 

  • Storing organic manure
  • Applying organic manure
  • Applying manufactured nitrogen fertiliser
  • Feeding livestock
  • Housing livestock.

The guide is part of Defra's Our Clean Air Strategy that highlights that agriculture is responsible for 88% of UK emissions of ammonia gas. It was written by Defra in collaboration with the NFU, AHDB and the Agricultural Industries Confederation, with input from other organisations.  

Environment Minister Thérèse Coffey said: “Air pollution is not just an urban issue and with 88% of ammonia emissions coming from farming, the government is taking concerted action.

“With clear new guidance and financial support we will help farmers across the country to take action, reduce emissions and help improve air quality.”

Defra is also providing a package of financial and technical advice to help farmers reduce their emissions, including investing £3 million over the next three years to fund a experts who will offer support, advice and guidance on the most effective ways to reduce emissions from ammonia on their land. I

The RDPE Countryside Productivity scheme is currently offering 40% grants towards much of the manure management equipment recommended in the COGAP to reduce ammonia emissions. This includes low-emission spreading equipment, slurry and digestate storage bags, digestate processing equipment and mild acidification equipment. Farmers in priority catchments for reducing water pollution may also be eligible for grants towards covers for slurry stores and lagoons under the Countryside Stewardship scheme.

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