Farmers must use urea fertiliser inhibitors to avoid government restrictions  

Agricultural Industries Confederation (AIC) warns farmers across England who are preparing for the busy spring season to remember to use an inhibitor when applying urea fertilisers. It will allow them to avoid further government restrictions and help improve air quality.

The agri-supply trade association is reminding farmers and growers that the agricultural supply industry and farming unions are committed to working in partnership to deliver substantial ammonia emissions reductions from the use of both solid and liquid fertilisers containing urea from April this year.  

An industry voluntary approach that was agreed upon last year means that farmers and growers must use ammonia abatement treatments and inhibitors to counter the risk of the government seeking to further restrict the use of urea fertiliser with tough regulation, a potential move driven by the urgent need to cut ammonia emissions in the UK.  

Industry commitment 

AIC has worked with farming unions and the industry to find and implement a voluntary solution that ensures farmers’ access to vital fertilisers while helping to meet the UK’s legally binding air quality targets for ammonia emissions.  

Head of fertiliser at AIC, Jo Gilbertson, said: “The industry’s collective agreement with the government to use inhibitors, and therefore avoid the very real threat of an outright ban on urea fertilisers, was hard won last year.  

“It is imperative that the entire farming industry maintains its clear commitment to support this arrangement in the face of the ever-present threat of regulation, which is driven by the UK’s legal obligations to cut ammonia emissions as part of international air improvement treaties.”  

In England, solid fertilisers, blends, and compounds with more than 1% urea applied any time from 1st April until 15th January each year must use effective protection to reduce ammonia emissions. Farmers in England using liquid fertilisers with more than 1% urea applied any time from 1st April to 15th January each year must also use effective protection to reduce ammonia emissions.  

Unprotected, uninhibited liquid fertiliser containing urea can only be applied between 1st April and the last application in autumn if agronomic justification is provided by FACTS-qualified farm personnel or advice specific to the crop has been provided by a FACTS-qualified adviser and been followed.  

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