A bipartisan group of parliamentarians has seen farm technologies that can significantly reduce methane and ammonia emissions from stored slurries.

As part of an ongoing food security inquiry, MPs from the Environmental Food and Rural Affairs (Efra) Commission visited Holly Green Farm near Lisborough, Princes, Bedfordshire on September 8th.

See also: Dutch farmer protests derail emissions plans

The farm is run by the Dyson family who have milked 500 Holsteins, achieved a net zero target, and employed technology to help reduce odor during slurry application.

how does it work

The treatment unit, supplied by Danish company N2 Applied, will be installed in the spring of 2021.

The equipment is housed in a modified shipping container and uses power drawn from solar panels.

Fertilizer is put into the unit where the electric current is applied. This produces reactive nitrogen and pumps it back to the slurry store.

This process lowers the pH and reduces ammonia and methane emissions from the slurry by 98%.

With an average of 200 cattle units, N2 Applied calculations suggested that 199 tonnes of carbon dioxide could be sequestered per year. Scaled up to the entire UK dairy herd, that calculation would remove 2.32 million tonnes of carbon dioxide per year.

The advantage of knock-on is that it doubles the available nitrogen content in the slurry, making it a more potent fertilizer.

A two-year trial claimed to yield an average 36% increase in yield compared to untreated slurries, yielding yields comparable to those achieved using artificial fertilizers.

A further improvement is that the resulting material is nearly odorless, which was important to Dysons because the farms were close to homes.

food security

Ahead of the visit, Efra Chair Sir Robert Goodwill MP said:

“Right now, the price of fertilizer is skyrocketing. This technology, which produces a richer fertilizer while reducing slurry-related pollution, sounds like a step forward.

Sir Robert added: I would love to learn more about these developments and discuss what role governments can play in promoting initiatives that promote self-sufficiency in the food we produce. ”


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