Farm innovations are failing to cut nitrogen as much as claimed: NRC
Technical equipment aimed at reducing nitrogen compound emissions by livestock farms does not work as well as expected, the NRC reported on Friday, quoting from an unpublished report by Wageningen University.
The results mean thousands of farms are producing more pollutants than permitted, the paper said.
The research was commissioned by the agriculture ministry which sees technical innovation as one way of reducing nitrogen-based pollution. Farming organisations such as LTO hope that technology will remove the need for so many farms to close down because they are located near environmentally sensitive areas.
The cabinet has allocated €1.2 billion to innovations that will help slash nitrogen emissions by 50% by 2030 out of a total budget of €24 billion.
In particular, new barn floors which are supposed to separate manure from urine more quickly and so reduce the formation of ammonia, have booked disappointing results, the paper said.
In the poultry and pig sectors, the floors are reducing emissions by up to 50% below the manufacturers’ claims.
The researchers looked at 40 different technical innovations and measured their impact. Some 50% of the systems failed to cut nitrogen emissions by as much as pledged.
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