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Why IPPC Affects All Pig-Keepers

by 5m Editor
4 April 2007, at 6:28am

UK - It has been reported on several occasions that all pig producers need to understand the requirements of IPPC, even those who are way below the current threshold of 750 sows or 2,000 growers over 30 kilos.

One has only to consider a recent contribution by the European Commission’s Michel Sponar to an international conference on ammonia.

Sponar reported on preliminary findings from a Commission-sponsored study on integrated measures to reduce ammonia emissions from agriculture.

There was a need, he said, to expand NVZ designations and to limit derogations of the 170 kilo application limit.

There was also a need:

  • To ensure balanced nutrient inputs outside NVZs.
  • To look closely at the N content of feed.
  • To expand IPPC.

His message can be summed up thus: as far as Brussels is concerned, environment measures should in future apply to all pig-keepers, regardless of size.

The conference went on to consider ways that agriculture could reduce ammonia emissions. These include the use of lower protein feeds, fermentable non-starch polysaccharides (simple carbohydrates), acids and salts, and additives in both feed and manure.

It agreed the use of co-products such as distillers dried grains should be investigated further as one study showed emissions of hydrogen sulphide and ammonia are greatly increased when this type of feed is used.

Delegates wanted to see greater cooperation between feed manufacturers and farmers to find cost effective solutions to the problem of damaging emissions. And it was agreed there should be better communication with consumers, to demonstrate the added value of environmentally friendly produce.

The conference agreed there is a need for international standards on emissions sampling, data analysis and modelling. Delegates agreed to submit a proposal to European Co-operation in the Field of Scientific and Technical Research.

The conference was clear there is no “one size fits all” when it comes to regulating the N cycle in agriculture. Optimised N balancing is a good start, supplemented with technical measures addressing local conditions.

It felt prescriptive regulations were inappropriate and criticised the European Union for ignoring scientific uncertainty when constructing regulation, in pursuit of “one figure”.

The European Union should provide a catalogue of measures, said delegates. These could then be adjusted and tailored to local conditions.

In the States, the focus is on activity rather than measuring performance - and this approach appears to be working.

5m Editor