More efficient nutrient management to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, through better fertiliser application and management of manures.
Test your soil to identify any factors limiting nutrient uptake and leading to increased emissions
Develop a nutrient management plan to make best use of resources across the farm.
- Matching inputs to crop demand should minimise nutrient use and loss as emissions.
For the business:
For Net Zero:
CFE's partner-initiative Tried &Tested provide free, practical guidance on nutrient planning and application, as well as templates for Nutrient Management Plans. Some useful free resources to help get started include:
|Building soil fertility by using cover crops and legumes, as well as incorporating organic materials (composts, manure and digestates) into soils, reduces the need for inorganic fertilisers.||£/|
|Timing and conditions – Time nitrogen fertiliser application to coincide with periods of rapid crop growth, ensuring crops make best use of the nitrogen applied, reducing losses. |
Applying fertiliser in waterlogged, warm or wet soils, or in windy conditions can increases nitrogen emissions and loss.
|Nitrification or urease inhibitors can delay the release of nitrate from fertiliser, reducing N2O and NH3 emissions. They can be added to liquid fertilisers prior to application or sprayed onto soil prior to spreading solid fertilisers.||£/|
|Ensure manure or organic material is rapidly incorporated into soils as soon as possible to reduce nitrogen losses (within six hours for liquid materials and 24 hours for solid materials to tillage land).|
|Manure and slurry covers reduce nitrous oxide and ammonia emissions. |
Having sufficient storage gives greater flexibility of application to apply in favorable conditions. Applying slurry in spring can reduce emissions by 50%. Click here for more information on manure management.
|Precision application techniques only apply nutrients where they are needed and reduce emissions, by minimising the surface area of slurry that is exposed to the air. These include band spreading, trailing shoe applicators and shallow injection systems. For liquid materials this can reduce ammonia emissions by 30-70%, leaving more nitrogen available for crops.|
|Regularly maintain and service spreaders and sprayers. Calibrate spreaders for rate of application every spring and whenever the fertiliser type is changed. Catch-trays can be used to check spreading is uniform, reducing nutrient waste.||£/|
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