Farm Ireland

Saturday 3 December 2016

New EU rules on fertiliser emissions could cost Irish farmers millions

Farming Independent team

Published 30/11/2016 | 12:13

The European Parliament has backed a deal to cut ammonia emissions by 19pc by 2030.

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MEPS backed the binding 2030 targets to limit air pollutants linked to human health problems.

Although some in the Commission and parliament sought a 27pc reduction in ammonia emissions, a 19pc cut by 2030 was accepted. A target reduction for animal methane was excluded from the measure following warnings from the farm lobby that it would cost jobs and require excessive housing of animals.

Ireland must reduce its ammonia (NH3) discharges from farming by 5pc in the period to 2030. Major changes to management practices on farms will be required to meet the new limits, including moving away from traditional fetilisers such as urea, and greater use of the trailing shoe and trailing hose when spreading slurry.

The full cost of these mitigation measures is put at €35.6m a year by Teagasc.

The highest reductions being sought by the Commission were a 32pc cut from Hungary, 30pc for Slovakia and 24pc from Denmark.

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