£3m scheme launched to reduce emissions from farming

The Government scheme has been set up to help farmers reduce ammonia emissions from agriculture, which is currently responsible for 88% of all UK emissions of ammonia gas.

Ammonia gas can travel long distances, be damaging to the environment, and when combined with other pollutants can be harmful to human health.

The money will fund a team of specialists who will work with farmers and landowners to implement the measures to reduce their ammonia set out in the new Code of Good Agricultural Practice (COGAP) for Reducing Ammonia Emissions.

The specialist team will provide training events and tailored advice to farmers on how to reduce ammonia emissions through the way they handle livestock feed and manure, and spread fertiliser.

The team will also offer support on how to improve water quality and prevent flooding from farmed land.

Bob Middleton, Programme Manager, Catchment Sensitive Farming said: ‘As custodians of the land, farmers have an important role to play in protecting the environment, but reducing ammonia emissions can also bring real business benefits.

‘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.’

Farming Minister George Eustice 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.’

The announcement comes less than a week after the introduction of the government’s landmark Agriculture Bill which sets out proposals for the environment post-Brexit.

To replace the Common Agricultural Policy, a new system will reward farmers for “public goods”, which includes taking action to improve air and water quality and soil health.

Thomas Barrett

Thomas Barrett

Journalist. Follow him on Twitter

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