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.”