Farm­ers to re­ceive help on emis­sions

The Press and Journal (Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire) - - FARMING - BY NANCY NICOLSON

Farm­ers in Eng­land are be­ing of­fered sup­port to help them re­duce am­mo­nia gas emis­sions, De­fra has an­nounced.

The mea­sures set out in the UK Gov­ern­ment’s Clean Air Strat­egy re­vealed to­day are pre­dicted to help cut the costs of air pol­lu­tion to so­ci­ety by £1.7 bil­lion ev­ery year by 2020, ris­ing to £5.3bn from 2030.

The gov­ern­ment will give farm­ers sup­port to in­vest in in­fra­struc­ture and equip­ment to re­duce emis­sions and will work with in­dus­try to en­cour­age low-emis­sion, holis­tic farm­ing tech­niques.

Funds will help farm­ers pur­chase ma­nure man­age­ment equip­ment in­clud­ing low-emis­sion spread­ers, and slurry tank and la­goon cov­ers for those in pri­or­ity wa­ter catch­ments.

Farm­ing Min­is­ter Ge­orge Eus­tice said: “Am­mo­nia emis­sions can have a sig­nif­i­cant im­pact on the en­vi­ron­ment and on our health and as cus­to­di­ans of the land farm­ers have an im­por­tant role to play in re­duc­ing them.

“Our fu­ture agri­cul­ture pol­icy will in­volve fi­nan­cial re­wards and in­cen­tives to help farm­ers re­duce their am­mo­nia emis­sions.”

Agri­cul­ture is held re­spon­si­ble for 88% of UK emis­sions of am­mo­nia gas. sec­tors could do re­ally well and for quite a few farm­ers – ce­re­als grow­ers in par­tic­u­lar – a no-deal Brexit could be good,” he said.

He said the sheep sec­tor would suf­fer, but ways were be­ing in­ves­ti­gated to mit­i­gate this.

He said: “The is­sue with sheep is tim­ing be­cause we pro­duce the right amount of sheep meat but not all at the right time of year, which means we have to im­port fresh New Zealand lamb, but al­ready there are ini­tia­tives to have later and more con­sis­tent lamb avail­able.”

He ad­vised farm­ers to im­prove their re­silience by mov­ing loans from short to long-term, de­lay­ing in­vest­ments, and di­ver­si­fy­ing in­come.

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