Traditional manure spreading techniques result in major nitrogen loss, mainly in the shape of ammonia emissions into the air. Ammonia (NH3) emissions negatively impact air quality as particulate matter, and contributes to acid deposition and eutrophication in other areas thereby leading to potential changes occurring in soil and water quality. As agriculture is responsible for over 90% of ammonia emissions, EU legislation on the National Emission Ceilings recommends Member States to take measures to reduce emissions by using low-emission manure spreading techniques.

Major benefits when using modern equipment

Using agricultural machinery with direct manure injection could reduce nitrogen loss in the form of ammonia by well over 90% in comparison with traditional manure spreading techniques. Evidence from countries such as the Netherlands and Denmark, where direct manure injections are mandatory, shows a major reduction in ammonia emissions. However, this direct manure injection is not yet practiced widely in many EU Member States.

CEMA’s position

CEMA encourages Member States to include measures in their action plans that stimulate the use of agricultural machinery with direct manure injection or alternative practices with similar effect. This will improve air quality and at the same time allow the most effective use of manure, certainly in combination with nitrogen measurements for a homogeneous dosing. This improved effectiveness will improve yields and create benefits for the farmer.