Leading slurry inoculant manufacturer, Envirosystems, has won a share of Defra’s highly competitive £5m Farming Innovation Pathways (FIP) research funding to help the industry move towards net zero emissions.

The Lancashire-based SME partnered with Myerscough College for an 18-month lab-to-field feasibility project, which started in August, 2021. The aim being to deliver a unique bacterial approach to mitigating slurry ammonia emissions and enhancing slurry fertiliser value.

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Head of research at Envirosystems, Dr David Townsend, said: “This project allows us to combine our 20 years’ experience providing our product, SlurryBugs, to the industry with advances in technology to develop a new cost-effective option for reducing slurry ammonia emissions and bought-in synthetic fertiliser costs for farmers.

“Traditional approaches of capping or acidifying slurry to reduce ammonia emissions can have detrimental impacts on the microbiological populations within the slurry, and lead to over acidification of soils.

“Instead, our proposed solution takes a more holistic approach to this growing issue and provides a more cost-effective and sustainable approach than covering slurry stores.”

Operations director at Envirosystems, Dr Henry Russell, added: “Our solution will have clear advantages over alternative strategies, both currently on the market and those recommended by Defra, because by harnessing an existing biochemical pathway in slurry it allows wide adoption and application to any farm regardless of their slurry system set-up.

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“We look forward to trialling this technology on farms and then once the project is completed in early 2023, rolling it out to a wider market.”

The FIP funding is delivered through the UKRI’s Transforming Food Production programme, in partnership with Defra. The project will also produce wider human health benefits through improved air quality and environmental benefits to ecosystems affected by excess ammonia emissions.