Toolbox of cost-effective strategies for on-farm reductions in N losses to water N-TOOLBOX KBBE-2008-1-2-08

 

Innovative and cost-effective technologies to reduce N losses to water from agriculture in the EU:
a catalogue of farm level strategies

 

Date: October 2011

Introduction

This catalogue is an output from the European Union FP7 Project - N-TOOLBOX (Toolbox of cost-effective strategies for on-farm reductions in N losses to water). This project aims to compile and organize effective strategies in an easily accessible format, so that farmers and agricultural advisors can easily select the subset of strategies that is most suited to their particular situation.

It was never our goal to "re-invent the wheel". In this project we have built on the results of numerous national and European projects that have tackled the challenge of identifying on-farm strategies to reduce pollution from agriculture. These are reviewed in WP 1 Deliverable 1.1 Report on findings from EU and national (UK, Denmark, Spain, The Netherlands) projects relating to nitrate contamination of groundwater and surface water from agricultural systems. In particular, the Inventory of Methods to Control Diffuse Water Pollution from Agriculture (DWPA)1, hereafter referred to as the Defra User Manual proved particularly useful. The ongoing work of the Network on Recycling of Agricultural, Municipal and Industrial Residues in Agriculture has also been a valuable resource.

The scientific background information on many of mitigation measures in this catalogue is summarized in WP 1 Deliverable 1.2 Report on literature findings related to the effectiveness of techniques to reduce N losses to water from agricultural systems, and useful data on the economics of implementing these measures in irrigated systems is included in WP 1 Additional Deliverable Economic Analysis of Farm Management Strategies to Reduce Nitrate Losses.

There is no magic bullet that will solve the problem of N losses to water from agriculture. In reality a network of partial solutions is required, that when applied together, can significantly reduce these losses. In many cases adoption of these strategies will also address other farm management goals, including reducing P and sediment losses to water and reducing greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture.

 

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1 Cuttle, S.P., Macleod, C.J.A., Chadwick, D.R., Scholefield, D. and Haygarth, P.M. (IGER) and Newell-Price, P., Harris, D., Shepherd, M.A., Chambers, B.J., and Humphrey (ADAS). 2007. Defra Project ES0203.

 

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