New EU directive could see Irish farmers forced to use trailing shoe more
As part of revision to the National Emissions Ceilings (NEC Directive), Ireland has been assigned a target to cut the emission of ammonia by 5pc below 2005 levels by 2030.
The 5pc reduction target for ammonia, which was backed by the European Parliament last week, represents a significant challenge for Irish agriculture sector as its emission is almost entirely associated with agricultural activity.
The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine is currently exploring various cost effective abatement options that will be required to assist with these ammonia emission reduction targets.
Given the structure of farming in Ireland, which is predominantly based on the out-door grazing of ruminant animals, approaches to reduce the emission of ammonia will largely focus on the management of nitrogen and technologies to advance efficiencies of nitrogen use.
According to the Department, technological measures, such as increasing the proportion of slurry applied using low emission spreading systems (LESS), provide scope for a further reduction in emissions.
The uptake of these technologies is currently being supported through TAMS and GLAS actions under the Rural Development Programme.
Future abatement technologies will include the application of urease inhibitors; a practice which has been shown to significantly reduce ammonia emissions from the spreading of urea.
In addition, certain housing and storage related measures may offer some future abatement opportunities.