OpenFields

1576: Agriculture in the UK - Environment

This paper is extracted from the Defra publication ‘Agriculture in the United Kingdom Chapter 13 -Environment’

Year of Publication2012

The key drivers of change for environmental impacts in the last ten years have been declines in the number of cattle and sheep and reductions in fertiliser applications particularly on grassland. Between 1990 and 2011 nitrate fertiliser use in the United Kingdom decreased by 35% and phosphate by 54%. Between 1990 and 2010 agricultural emissions of both nitrous oxide and methane decreased by 20% and ammonia by 24%. In England pesticide used on cereals decreased by 23% between 2008 and 2010. The index of farmland birds is now at 50% of its 1970 value - most of the decline occurred between the late 1970s and early 1990s.

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