Environmental Benefits

Much of what used to be acceptable farming practice is now under the microscope. If re-mineralisation alone can reduce fertiliser input by 30%, it is a start as 47% of the total energy footprint of UK farming is due to the use of chemical fertilisers. Until less profligate systems can be found in terms of energy use and emissions, we can only rely on efficient husbandry to reduce the footprint. The NUE (Nitrogen Use Efficiency) in the UK is 30%, which means we waste 70% of all the nitrogen we buy. NVZs are just the start of a tightening of regulation that will last for decades. Less tillage, precision farming and improved soil organic matter should improve on that figure, while we wait for industry to come up with a range of ‘smart’ fertilisers.