An ambitious new strategy to clean up the air has been launched by the government. This includes a commitment to support farmers’ efforts to tackle air pollution, as agriculture is responsible for 88% of UK emissions of ammonia gas. The ammonia gas travels long distances and can be damaging to the environment and combine with other pollutants to form fine Particulate Matter pollution, which are harmful to human health.
“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,” said George Eustice, Farming Minister.
By 2020, the measures set out in the Clean Air Strategy will help cut the costs of air pollution to society by £1.7 billion every year and rising to £5.3 billion every year from 2030.
Farmers will benefit from support to invest in infrastructure and equipment to reduce emissions, as well as work with the industry to encourage low emission and holistic farming techniques. Through the Countryside Productivity Scheme, funding has been available so that farmers could purchase manure management equipment, including low-emission spreaders. Funding is also available through the Countryside Stewardship Scheme for slurry tank and lagoon covers for farmers in priority water catchments.