Agricultural emissions related to air quality are dominated by ammonia and agriculture accounts for around 90% of total ammonia emissions in Scotland. The majority of emissions are the result of manure management and use.
Ammonia is a key air pollutant that can have significant effects on the environment and human health. Nitrogen deposition (from both ammonia emissions and nitrogen oxides) effectively provides fertiliser from the air, leading to the eutrophication of our naturally nutrient-poor ecosystems and related damage to plant and animal species through eutrophication and acidification. Ammonia also produces odours and is a major contributor to secondary fine particulate matter formation, impacting on both human and ecosystem health.
Ammonia and other nitrogen emissions from farming can be significantly reduced by improving the efficiency of how livestock, their manure and other fertilisers are managed.
- Read about the current Scottish Government air quality strategy, Cleaner Air for Scotland 2.
- The Inventory of Ammonia Emissions from UK Agriculture (2022) outlines information on a range of ammonia mitigation measures.
- Read about ammonia emissions to air from slurry and manure.
- Trends on ammonia emissions for Scotland can be found at: Air Pollutant Inventories for England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland: 2005-2020 (defra.gov.uk).