To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment he has made of the effect of financial support through the Countryside Stewardship and Countryside Productivity schemes in enabling and promoting investment in the farm infrastructure and equipment on ammonia emissions; and what estimate his Department has made of the expected reduction in kilotonnes of ammonia emissions achieved as a result of that support in calendar years (a) 2019, (b) 2020 and (c) 2021.
20 January 2022
Under the Countryside Productivity scheme, an estimated £4.6 million of funds were approved for projects which addressed nutrient management, for example, low-emission slurry application equipment or mild acidification of slurry, both of which reduce ammonia emissions.
We have just closed the first round of the Farming Equipment and Technology Fund, the successor to Countryside Productivity small grants, which includes grants towards nutrient analysis, low emission spreading and separation equipment. Later this year, we will open applications for further rounds of large infrastructure grants, including for slurry acidification and slurry stores, under the Farming Transformation Fund, which will help further reduce ammonia emissions.
The Countryside Stewardship scheme provides financial incentives for farmers to look after and improve the environment. In 2021, the scheme allocated over £0.5 million to activities that reduce on-farm ammonia emissions including funding for slurry store covers, slurry scrapers and low emission flooring for livestock housing.
The data collected for evaluation does not allow for an assessment of the direct contribution to expected ammonia emission reductions achieved through this funding. This depends on a number of factors such as how the equipment is used on farm and the volumes of slurry involved.