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Minister launches Code of Good Practice for Reducing Ammonia Emissions from Agriculture

The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed, T.D., today launched a Code of Good Agricultural Practice for reducing Ammonia Emissions from Agriculture.

The Minister outlined “Following a consultative process earlier this year, I am very pleased to launch this Code of Good Practice for reducing Ammonia Emissions’. The Minister added, ‘Ireland has clear targets to deliver in terms of reduced ammonia emissions and the adoption and implementation of these voluntary measures outlined in this Code will reduce the risk of Ireland exceeding its ammonia emissions ceilings into the future.”

The Code of Good Agricultural Practice is a guidance document that outlines best practice actions to help reduce ammonia emissions from our farms.  Ammonia emissions arise principally from fertiliser and manure applications, animal feeding strategies, animal housing and manure storage and can have negative impacts on health and biodiversity.

The Department is already supporting delivery of actions within this guidance document through the provision of support for investments in technology such as Low Emission slurry application technology such as the trailing shoe and trailing hose. To date, the Department has approved over 2,000 applications under the TAMS II Scheme and has already paid approximately €19 million for grant assistance for this technology.

As agriculture is responsible for approximately 99% of ammonia emissions it is vital that the agri-food sector continues to build on the good work achieved to date. By following the 4R principles: using the right nutrient source, at the right rate, at the right time and in the right place the sector can achieve greater nutrient use efficiency. It is important that this valuable nitrogen source remains within the production system, resulting in significant savings in chemical fertiliser usage. It has never been more critical that we maximise the efficiency of our use of nutrients.

Concluding, the Minister stated, “As food producers and farmers, we have a tremendous reputation internationally in terms of the sustainability of the food and drink we produce, and this is something we can be immensely proud of. In order to preserve the reputation of our country’s green image, we must address ammonia losses to the environment over the next decade. I have no doubt Irish farmers will embrace this challenge head on.”

 

Notes for editor:

Ireland has a mandatory ceiling for ammonia since 2010 of 116kt, ammonia emissions must be reduced by 1% below 2005 levels by 2020 and 5% below 2005 levels from 2030. Latest information from the EPA show that ammonia emissions increased by 2% in 2017 and this trend is projected to continue out to 2030.

Ag-Climatise:

Ag-Climatise, a National Climate & Air Roadmap for the Agriculture Sector to 2030 and Beyond is open for public consultation until the 10 January 2020.

The consultation is composed of two elements:

  1. 1.         The Ag Climatise roadmap is available at https://www.agriculture.gov.ie/ruralenvironmentsustainability/climatechangebioenergybiodiversity/ag-climatiseadraftnationalclimateairroadmapfortheagriculturesectorto2030andbeyondpublicconsultation/

which sets the scene and poses a number of questions.

2.         An online survey to facilitate a response to the questions. Ag-Climatise Survey. The survey will

take about 35 minutes to complete.

 

Written comments are also welcome by email to Agclimatise@agriculture.gov.ie and also by post to:

Climate & Air Roadmap Consultation

Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine

Climate Change & Bioenergy Policy Division

Grattan Business Centre

Dublin Road

Portlaoise

Co Laois

Ireland

R32 K857

The All of Government Climate Action Plan can be found  here

The Ag-Climatise initiative is also in keeping with the objectives of Future Jobs Ireland – Preparing Now for Tomorrow’s Economy, in particular Pillar 5 – Transitioning to a Low Carbon Economy.

 

ENDS

Date Released: 20 November 2019