Senior officials in the Department of Agriculture are considering introducing a knowledge transfer scheme to encourage pig farmers to reduce crude protein in pig diets.

An internal document seen by the Irish Farmers Journal reveals that Department officials are concerned about meeting climate targets and one of the considerations being deliberated is a 4% reduction in crude protein in pig diets.

The document states there would be a “4% reduction in CP [crude protein] of pig diet to reduce ammonia and N20 losses”.

Compulsory measures on low emission slurry spreading and fertiliser limits are also being considered.

Climate bill

The climate bill will set legally binding targets in place in regard to emissions, with the aim of reaching net-zero emission by 2050.

Although specific sectoral targets still have to be set, as the biggest source of emissions, many in the agriculture sector are concerned how the targets will impact on farming.

Director of Teagasc Gerry Boyle told the Oireachtas Committee on Agriculture on Wednesday 14 April that if agriculture was required to reduce emissions by 51% by 2030, it would “impact negatively” on the sector.

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