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Moreau, P.et al (this meeting) Evaluating innovative farming systems to limit nitrogen diffuse pollution in catchments:
development and application of the CASIMOD’N model Menesguen, A., and Piriou, J.Y., 1995. Nitrogen loadings and macroalgal (Ulva Sp) mass accumulation in Britanny (France). Ophelia 42, 227–237.
Nitrogen Workshop 2012
Estimating the effect of mitigation methods on multiple environmental pollutants Newell Price, J.P.a, Harris, D.b, Chadwick, D.R.c, Misselbrook, T.H.c, Anthony, S.G.d,.
Gooday, R.D. d, Taylor, M.a, Williams, J.R.b and Chambers, B.J.a a ADAS Gleadthorpe, Meden Vale, Mansfield, Notts. NG20 9PF, UK b ADAS Boxworth, Battlegate Road, Boxworth, Cambridge, CB3 8NN, UK c Rothamsted Research North Wyke, Okehampton, Devon, EX20 2SB, UK d ADAS Wolverhampton, Woodthorne, Wergs Road, Wolverhampton, WV6 8TQ, UK
1. Background & Objectives Under the European Union (EU) Water Framework Directive, the National Emission Ceilings Directive (NECD) and EU Climate Change agreements, the UK government is committed to improving water quality and reducing emissions of ammonia and greenhouse gases (GHGs).
These Directives present a number of challenging goals that should be considered in an integrated way to identify best options and avoid ‘pollution swapping’ (i.e. reduction in the loss of one pollutant leading to an increase in another) wherever possible. Hence, succinct information was needed on the effectiveness of a range of mitigation options for diffuse water and air pollutants and GHGs. This paper presents the approach taken in the “Mitigation Methods - User Guide” to estimate the effectiveness of a selection of methods in reducing losses of water and airborne pollutants, including nitrate, ammonium and nitrite–nitrogen;
particulate and soluble phosphorus, sediment, biochemical oxygen demand, faecal indicator organisms, ammonia, nitrous oxide, methane and carbon dioxide.
2. Materials & Methods In all, 346 individual methods were considered for inclusion from a variety of publications sourced from the UK and Europe (Newell Price et al., 2011). The 83 selected methods were split into seven categories: “land use”, “soil management”, “crop and livestock breeding”, “fertiliser management”, “livestock management”, “manure management” and “infrastructure”.
2.1 Farm typologies Farm typologies were established that represented ‘typical farms’ and ‘baseline losses’. These were then used as a framework for estimating cost and effectiveness at the farm scale. The farm typologies were based on the “Robust Farm Types” used in the Defra Business Survey, with crop areas and livestock numbers estimated from the proportions of the land area occupied by each crop type and the stocking densities of each livestock type in the Defra June Agricultural Census (Defra, 2005). The British Survey of Fertiliser Practice (for 2004) was used to provide information on fertiliser types, application rates and timings (Goodlass and Welch, 2005).
2.2 Baseline losses For each of the farm typologies, pollutant baseline losses were calculated for two soil types (‘permeable’ and ‘impermeable’) and six climate zones based on annual average rainfall values (1961 to 1990). Baseline losses were apportioned into source type (fertiliser, excreta, soil and manure), source area (arable, grassland, rough grazing and steading) and delivery pathway (e.g.
surface runoff, piston flow and drainflow for waterborne pollutants). Total baseline losses and their apportionment (into sources and pathways) were estimated using a combination of field experimental data, modelling and expert elucidation, as described by Chadwick et al. (2006).
2.3 Effectiveness of methods For each mitigation method, effectiveness classes and direction of change assessments were produced for each pollutant. The effectiveness of a method was assigned to a range of values Nitrogen Workshop 2012 (Table 1), based on available research data or, where data did not exist, the expert judgement of the project team. Effectiveness was expressed as a percentage reduction relative to the baseline pollutant loss; the effectiveness classes reflect natural variation in their efficiency and variation according to the magnitude of the baseline loss, as well as uncertainty.
3. Results & Discussion The ‘Mitigation Methods - User Guide’ estimates indicate that the overall effectiveness of the majority of methods for most pollutants was low, i.e. 1-30%. On the whole, only methods that involved a change in land use, such as ‘convert arable land to unfertilised and ungrazed grass’, had a moderate to high effect (20 to 90%) across a wide range of pollutants. Some soil management methods, such as ‘establish cover crops in the autumn’ had a moderate (20-80%) effect on nitrate leaching losses. Organic manures are probably the main cause of controllable nutrient pollution (in present day farming systems) and methods that target manures had a moderate effect on a wide range of pollutants. For example, increasing the capacity of farm slurry (manure) stores to improve the timing of slurry applications had a low-moderate effect on nitrogen (up to 20% reduction in leaching losses) and soluble phosphorus losses. Also, changing from a slurry to a solid manure handling system had a moderate effect in reducing ammonia and nitrate leaching losses, although overall nitrous oxide emissions could potentially be increased due to higher emissions during farmyard manure storage. Methods that target ammonia losses, such as ‘washing down dairy cow collecting yards’ had a low-moderate effect in reducing ammonia losses at the farm scale. However, the additional nitrogen that is retained in the manure during housing, storage and at land spreading is potentially at risk of loss as the manure moves from housing to store to field. It is therefore important to take account of the increased N content (due to reduced ammonia emissions) at each step in order to reduce subsequent ammonia emission and nitrate leaching loss risks.
4. Conclusions Most methods, when applied in isolation, had a low-moderate effect in minimising pollutant losses. Good nutrient management gave rise to ‘win-win-wins’ for water quality, air quality and business profitability, but there was also potential for ‘pollution swapping’ to occur.
5. References Chadwick, D.R., Chambers, B.J., Anthony, S.G., Granger, S., Haygarth, P.M., Harris, D. and Smith, K.A. 2006. A measure-centric approach to diffuse pollution modelling and cost-curve analysis of mitigation measures.
Proceedings of the SAC and SEPA Biennial Conference, Edinburgh, 5th-6th April 2006, 93-99.
Defra (2005). Agriculture in the United Kingdom - 2004. The Stationery Office.
Goodlass, G. and Welch, W. 2005. British Survey of Fertiliser Practice: Fertiliser use on farm crops for crop year
2004. Defra/SEERAD. ISBN 1 86190 128 3.
Newell Price, J.P., Harris, D., Chadwick, D.R., Misselbrook, T.H., Taylor, M., Williams, J.R., Anthony, S.G., Duethmann, D., Gooday, R.D., Lord, E.I. Chambers, B.J. 2011. Mitigation Methods – User Guide. An inventory of mitigation methods and guide to their effects on diffuse water pollution, greenhouse gas emissions and ammonia emissions from agriculture. Prepared as part of Defra project WQ0106, 158pp.
Nitrogen Workshop 2012
Achieving good water quality status in intensive animal production areas: a LIFE+ project Bortolazzo, E.a, Ligabue, M.a, Pacchioli, M.T.a, Mantovi, P.b a Research Centre on Animal Production – CRPA, Reggio Emilia, Italy b CRPA Foundation Studies and Researches, Reggio Emilia, Italy
1. Background & Objectives “Achieving good water quality status in intensive animal production areas” is the title of a LIFE+ project with the acronym AQUA. The general objective of the project is to contribute to the reduction of water pollution from nutrients at river basin scale by optimising the utilisation of nitrogen and phosphorus in livestock farms, thus reducing nutrients losses to water. This project involves five regions in Northern Italy: Piedmont, Lombardy, Emilia-Romagna, Veneto and Friuli Venezia Giulia.
A review of the draft River Basin Management Plans (dRBMP), which was published in September 2009, showed evidence that the European agricultural sector generates a significant pressure on both quality and quantity of surface and ground waters. Results show, for instance, that diffuse or point source pollution by nitrogen is reported in 91% of the dRBMPs, phosphorus in 90% of the cases and pesticides in 69% of the dRBMPs (Ecologic, 2010).
The amount of nitrogen from animal husbandry spread annually on agricultural soils in the EU 27 is estimated in a recent report from the Commission on implementation of the Nitrate Directive (EC, 2011). It has decreased from 9.4 to 9.1 million tonnes between 2003 and 2007 and from 7.9 to 7.6 for the EU15. There are large differences in pressure from agriculture between Member States;
areas with a high nutrient pressure include among others the Netherlands, Belgium-Flanders, France-Brittany and Northern Italy. The five regions involved in this project account for more than 70% of livestock in Italy: 68% dairy cattle, 61% other cattle, 85% pigs and 80% poultry.
In each farm the following actions, already proved by research, will be applied:
nitrogen in manure will be reduced using feeding techniques based on low-protein diets for pigs and high levels of efficiency in nitrogen intake for dairy and beef cattle. The reduction of the nitrogen excreted will be verified from barn – gate N balance;
in each demonstration farm, the efficiency of manure fertilisation will be improved at field level through the use of slurry spreading techniques not commonly applied in the area (such as fertigation with clarified slurry mixed with water, shallow injection between rows of growing crops, etc.), maximising the efficiency of nutrient use (N-P), promoting manure application to rotation of crops with a long growing season and high N uptake (as requested for Italian derogation farms in the Decision 2011/721/EU.The European Commission granted the
Nitrogen Workshop 2012
derogation requested to allow a higher amount of livestock manure than that provided for in the first sentence of the second subparagraph of paragraph 2 of Annex III to Directive 91/676/EEC).
The improvement in the N management at farm level will be quantified through the calculation of the farm-gate N balance;
The economic and environmental impact of the application of these techniques in the area will be assessed through the economic balances and LCA analysis of the nine demonstration farms.
3. Results & Discussion Currently, the nine farms have been identified and are being monitored before the introduction of the changes in the feeding techniques or in the field rotation and manure application.
At the beginning of 2012 the new procedures will be introduced and for the next two years the expected results are: i) to reduce the nitrogen excreted by about 10-20%, with the introduction of the new feeding techniques depending on the type of livestock reared, without compromising the production performance and decreasing the ammonia emissions (Fabbri et al., 2009) ii) to reduce by about 10-20% the N surplus at farm level, reducing field losses through the above mentioned techniques (Mantovi et al., 2007, 2009, 2010).
4. Conclusion The LIFE+ AQUA project will demonstrate to farmers and the extension services how it is possible to make use of new technologies and tools to reduce the environmental impact of livestock production, while maintaining productivity and income. All project activities had started and the new procedures will be introduced in the demonstration farms during February 2012.
References Ecologic (2010). Assessment of agriculture measures included in the draft River Basin Management Plans http://ec.europa.eu/environment/water/quantity/pdf/summary050510.pdf European Commission (2011). SEC (2011) 909 - REPORT FROM THE COMMISSION TO THE COUNCIL AND THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT On implementation of Council Directive 91/676/EEC concerning the protection of waters against pollution caused by nitrates from agricultural sources based on Member State reports for the period 2004-2007.
European Environment Agency (2010). The European environment — state and outlook 2010 (SOER 2010), Freshwater quality.
European Commission (2011). Commission Implementing Decision of 3 November 2011 on granting a derogation requested by Italy with regard to the Regions of Emilia Romagna, Lombardia, Piemonte and Veneto pursuant to Council Directive 91/676/EEC concerning the protection of waters against pollution caused by nitrates from agricultural sources (Decision 2011/721/EU). Official Journal of the European Union, L 287/36, 4 November 2011.
Fabbri C., Moscatelli G., Della Casa G. and Poletti E. 2009. Interventi sulla dieta per ridurre l’azoto escreto nei suini pesanti in fase di finissaggio. Suinicoltura 4, 123-131 Mantovi P. 2007. L’efficienza dell’azoto in azienda si può migliorare. L’Informatore Agrario 37, 49-52.
Mantovi P., Ligabue M. and Tabaglio V. 2007. Nitrate content of soil water under forage crops fertilised with dairy slurry in nitrate vulnerable zone. Proceedings of the 14th Symposium of the European Grassland Federation. Ghent, Belgium, 3-5 September 2007. Grassland Science in Europe 12, 347-350.
Mantovi P., Fabbri C. and Bonazzi G. 2009. Increase in the nitrogen efficiency using drip lines to apply the liquid fraction of pig slurry. Proceedings of the 16th N Workshop, Turin, 28th June-1st July 2009, 365-366.
Mantovi P., Bortolazzo E. and Tabaglio V. 2010. Il liquame bovino su prato non comporta perdite di nitrati.
L'Informatore Agrario 66, 44-47.
Nitrogen Workshop 2012
NITIRSOIL: a new N-model to estimate monthly nitrogen soil balance in irrigated agriculture.
De Paz, JM.a, Ramos, C.a, Visconti F.b,a a Centro para el Desarrollo de la Agricultura Sostenible (CDAS), Instituto Valenciano de Investigaciones Agrarias (IVIA). Valencia (Spain) b Centro de Investigaciones sobre Desertificacion-CIDE (CSIC, UVEG, GV). Valencia (Spain)