05 April 2023
UK growers will feel the pinch following new rules announcement.
WITH newly announced rules on use of inhibited urea, growers are likely to 'feel the squeeze' when seeking alternative options that comply with the new regulations, the Commercial Manager of Timac Agro UK has pointed out.
New rules on the use of inhibited urea fertilisers in the UK have been confirmed by Defra, with applications to crops after 1 April 2024 needing to be inhibited if containing more than 1% urea, to slow the release of ammonia.
Nico Papworth, commercial manager at Timac Agro UK, says this new measure will put increasing pressure on farmers to be more vigilant about the fertilisers they are using on-farm.
“Farmers are being restricted on which products they can apply, and with non-protected forms of urea being available at much more attractive prices this season, the squeeze will certainly be felt when seeking alternative options that comply with the new regulations.”
Nico said practical considerations such as spreading characteristics and soil compatibility must also be considered.
The use of inhibited urea fertilisers, known as ‘Option 4’, is expected to be incorporated into the Red Tractor Farm Assurance Scheme to ensure emissions of ammonia are being reduced to meet targets set by Government, with the aim to reduce the impact from the volatilisation of urea.
There has not been a standard set for the level of protection required at this stage. Unlike in some European countries, the UK operates under a ‘declaration, not regulation’ system so manufacturers are only required to declare their nitrogen is protected and aren’t regulated by the level of protection required.
“This may change in time, and we can’t be sure of what the standard for protection will be, but it’s important that farmers are aware of what they’re applying to ensure they’re complying by these new rules."