CUMBRIAN farmers should prepare for significant changes when it comes to ammonia emissions after Farming Minister Victoria Prentis announced plans to impose regulated environmental permitting.

Speaking at Dairy-Tech Online last week, Ms Prentis said as part of the Clean Air Strategy the Government is planning to extend environmental permitting to dairy and intensive beef farms.

She said: “The EA will work with you to develop best available technique documents. Permitting can be a spur for innovation. We want to design a regulatory approach and work with you.”

Currently, 87 percent of ammonia emissions come from agriculture, 23 percent of which are from the dairy industry. Ammonia can have a significant impact on human health and the environment and as an air pollutant can form toxic particulates.

Philippa Mansfield, Senior Advisor at the Catchment Sensitive Farming Partnership said with Defra now looking at the targets for Clean Air, the industry needs to prepare for change.

“In the Clean Air Strategy, Defra has laid out what action agriculture needs to take to reduce ammonia emissions and there are some really significant changes the industry needs to prepare for

Dr Mansfield added: “When you are applying for grants ask for support from your Catchment Sensitive Farming Officer at least six weeks before the closing date.”

Dairy-Tech Online is an online event running on weekdays from February 3-17. To view the programme of activity and to register for free go to

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