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AMMONIA FUTURES: Challenges to reducing ammonia emissions facing farmers - National Agri-Food Innovation Campus

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AMMONIA FUTURES: Challenges to reducing ammonia emissions facing farmers - National Agri-Food Innovation Campus


Please be advised this event is aimed at farmers and farmer representatives (e.g. NFU, Farm Advisers, tenant farmers etc.) only and is not suitable for those who do not have a knowledge and/or a background in farming.

The UK faces challenges in meeting ammonia emissions targets. Defra has published, for consultation, its Clean Air Strategy outlining potential regulatory approaches and incentives for reducing agricultural ammonia emissions.

The main sources of ammonia emissions in the UK are livestock manures and slurries (in housing, stores, and through land spreading) and urea fertiliser. Ammonia emissions are damaging to semi-natural ecosystems and also contribute to particulate pollution which is damaging to human health.

The Department for Environment Food & Rural Affairs has commissioned Ricardo Energy & Environment to undertake a project to gather information on the barriers and opportunities for ammonia emissions from farming. The aims of the project are:


To develop an understanding of the feasibility and likely obstacles to the implementation of proven ammonia mitigation measures.

To provide a horizon scan for the implications of adopting potential measures in consideration and consider links and co-benefits/potential trade-offs with other environmental areas (e.g. water quality).

To compare effectiveness of a national versus local approach to ammonia mitigation.


The government’s Clean Air Strategy (2018) signals intentions to reduce ammonia emissions from farming. The intentions include:


Limiting N fertiliser applications,

Extending environmental permitting to large dairy farms (currently applied to intensive pig and poultry units),

A requirement to spread urea-based fertilisers in conjunction with urease inhibitors, unless applied by injection on appropriate land,

Design standards for new livestock housing,

Requirements for: incorporation solid manures into soil within 12 hours of spreading; and use of low-emission spreading equipment for slurry.

A requirement for all slurry and digestate stores and manure heaps to be covered.


Defra wishes to gain views from farmers on the feasibility of farm scale adoption of mitigation measures to reduce ammonia emissions. Ricardo is contracted to Defra to work with stakeholder and farmers through a series of thirteen regional workshops across England.

By attending these workshops, stakeholders and farmers will have the possibility of influencing policy options for ammonia abatement and raising awareness of the significance for farmers.

The workshops will provide background information relating to ammonia emissions and mitigation actions that can be taken on farms before gathering the views and opinions of participants through facilitated sessions. All views will be fed back to Defra anonymously.

Agenda Outline:

10.00                     Arrivals (tea and coffee provided)

10.30                                     Welcome and policy context

10.45                                    Why is ammonia Important

11.15                                     Ammonia reduction on farm

11.45                                     Group Discussion and Q&A

12.15                     Lunch

13.00                                     Facilitated group sessions

14.30                                     Feedback

15.00                     Close



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