Farm Business Investment Scheme

Part of Oral Answers to Questions — Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs – in the Northern Ireland Assembly at 2:30 pm on 3rd November 2020.

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Photo of Edwin Poots Edwin Poots DUP 2:30 pm, 3rd November 2020

One element of the new farm business investment scheme is that we will give additional points to people who are covering tanks or buying equipment that has low emission spreading applied to it. That in itself will help with the ammonia problem that Ms Bailey raised earlier. We intend to run that course over the next number of years — not just that; we will add to it going forward. A consequence of that is that more nutrients will get to the area where they need to go, fewer will go into the atmosphere, and, in conjunction with a course of work on soil sampling that we intend to introduce at a later point, farmers will have a better knowledge of what exactly their fields need. That should bring about a further reduction in emissions and, indeed, savings for farmers in reducing the amount of inorganic fertilisers that they acquire to augment the nutrients that they have on farm.