Ammonia proposals for Northern Eire might scale back farm incomes by as much as 38%, a brand new report warns.
Agriculture’s main financial output might fall by as much as £35m if NI-only ammonia restrictions went forward, the analysis concluded.
The findings had been revealed by accountancy agency KPMG, which seemed on the Division of Agriculture’s (DAERA) potential coverage modifications.
Business teams such because the Ulster Farmers’ Union (UFU), Dairy Council for NI, and NI Meat Exporters Affiliation commissioned KPMG to analyze.
The NI authorities is looking for to cut back complete agricultural ammonia emissions by a minimum of 30% from 2020 ranges.
However the UFU, talking on behalf of the teams, stated the report reveals that ammonia restrictions in planning might delay development in decreasing emissions and have extreme penalties for the way forward for farming within the area.
UFU president David Brown stated: “Ammonia is a really complicated situation and our farmers are very conscious of this, however these proposals have the potential to do the alternative of what’s meant.
“The report reveals that these harsher ammonia guidelines will imply that fewer planning functions will likely be profitable, stopping a whole lot of farmers from having the ability to develop and modernise sustainably to allow them to scale back emissions additional.
“Many farmers have been actively embracing sensible mitigation measures akin to low emission slurry spreading tools, feed formulations and fertiliser varieties.
“Nevertheless, we’re very involved that needed investments in improved housing and manure administration amenities are more likely to be considerably curtailed.”
The report says that unsuccessful planning functions might result in a fall in farm infrastructure funding between 20%-25% with penalties for the broader financial system – agricultural building is price round £60-70m.
With out funding in farm infrastructure, farmers might battle to introduce ammonia mitigation measures akin to improved scrapers, slat mats in livestock sheds and covers for slurry pits.
When a farm’s planning software is rejected, not solely will this derail their morale to cut back ammonia emissions, however the fee will likely be important for the enterprise, the UFU stated.
For dairy farmers, the report warns that earnings might drop by 21%, whereas it might scale back by 30% for beef farms and 38% for pigs enterprises.
“Consequently, the farm would turn into inefficient, and will probably be inconceivable for the enterprise to stay aggressive impacting NI’s capability to supply meals regionally,” Mr Brown stated.
“Our agri-businesses, rural financial system, communities, and shoppers will likely be severely affected by this too.”
He added: “We have to discover a extra balanced manner ahead that enables farmers to develop and ship ammonia reductions, making certain farm households can preserve a viable enterprise as meals producers.”