NIAPA adds its voice to ammonia strategy

THE DRAFT Ammonia Strategy for Northern Ireland Consultation that closed for submissions on Friday, March 3rd, has suggested a series of measures to try and reduce the level of ammonia emissions from Farms in NI.

Many of the suggested measures have caused a lot of concern among NIAPA members and the wider farming community, especially farmers here in Fermanagh.

Throughout the consultation response NIAPA have highlighted their concern that many of the measures proposed could disproportionately affect smaller extensive farmers, and lead to a series of unintended consequences.


A major concern for local farmers is the proposed banning of splash-plate slurry tankers, which in reality will force many farmers to stop using smaller tankers and instead use contractors, which not only removes the farmers control on responsible application and creates additional cost, but also heavier machines will increase soil compaction.

While NIAPA fully accept that steps must be taken to reduce current ammonia levels in NI, they are critical of the perceived lack of supporting evidence and proper engagement around the proposed targets and measures.

There is also major concern that many of these measure will take considerable financial investment by Farm Businesses and yet there has been no attempt to provide any guidance in terms of the likely cost to the industry.

Furthermore, whilst the consultation does suggest that support funding is being considered, there is a lack of detail where this funding would come from and what level of funding would be made available.

NIAPA have called on DAERA and NIEA to engage fully with industry and take a wider balanced view, and to recognise the good work that most farmers are currently doing to, not only produce sustainable food but also, protect and enhance the environment.

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