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What methods can be used to tackle diffuse pollution from agriculture?

The Defra User Manual “An inventory of methods to control diffuse water pollution from agriculture” sets out a range of ways that can be used to control diffuse pollution from agricultural sources. Three main pollutants are considered; phosphorus, nitrate and faecal indicator organisms. The manual covers 44 different methods relating to changes in:

  • land use;
  • soil management;
  • livestock management;
  • fertilizer management;
  • manure management; and
  • farm infrastructure.

Examples of some of the methods include changes to grazing and tillage regimes, manure storage and application and the construction of wetlands. For each method, a brief description is provided, with a rationale for its use, how it may achieve a reduction in pollution, the potential applicability of the method and estimates of the practicality, cost and effectiveness at the farm scale.
A copy of the manual is available here.

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