Holistic approach to ammonia reduction needed, says NFU

The NFU has called for a joined up approach to reduce ammonia in response to Defra’s Clean Air Strategy consultation, which closed yesterday (14 Aug).

The NFU gathered the views of its membership to submit a detailed response explaining solutions to achieve cleaner air alongside productive, sustainable food production.

NFU Environment Forum Chairman Mark Pope said Defra needs to adopt an approach to reducing ammonia production which uses the best available data so that Government and industry action is most effectively targeted.

He added: “We have welcomed the opportunity to respond to the Government’s Clean Air Strategy and strongly believe that farmers are in a great position to contribute towards Government’s ambitions on this.

“In our response we have set out detailed and technical solutions, highlighting the need to address barriers to change. We made clear the need for advice and guidance and for adequate investment in measurement. We believe it’s essential to have confidence in the data collection of air pollutants so farmers can have a robust knowledge of the current situation and can chart progress.

“The NFU is calling on Defra to consider alternatives to additional regulation and, in particular, work with the industry on improving farm practice to minimise ammonia emissions first before considering a ban or imposing limits. It’s essential that we have a joined up approach to ensure that any new measures to address ammonia do not create perverse environmental outcomes in other ways.”

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About The Author

John Swire - Editor of Agronomist and Arable Farmer as well as responsibility for the Agronomist and Arable Farmer and Farm Business websites. After 17 years milking cows on the family farm John started writing about agriculture in 1998 and has since written for a variety of publications and has developed a wide circle of contacts within the industry. When not working John is a season ticket holder at Stoke City and also of late has become a fitness freak, listing cycling, swimming and walking as his exercises of choice.