On behalf of all who were throwing shoes at the tv on Sunday night as the Sunday programme described agriculture as the big polluter we have written to John Hudson who was the correspondent on the item.
The basis of our correspondence was;
- that carbon is not a pollutant
- that livestock methane emissions are different to fossil fuel ones and don’t have any effect on the concentrations of greenhouse gas
Therefore agriculture is not a polluter at all. John responded by email and I quote
“That is a very good point. And I guess the same is true of nitrous oxide formed when urine is oxidised on the grass. I still can’t see why more dairy farmers aren’t taking up the eco-N solution though….particularly as it increases winter grass production at less cost than urea.
Wouldn’t it be a great marketing advantage if New Zealand farmers could say their animals are removing carbon from the atmosphere”
I am not sure what he means by the last bit but our next correspondence could be that cows do remove carbon from the atmosphere and maybe he would like to help us market that.
As for the eco-N that is more a matter of economics than global warming issues, but the fossil fuel emissions produced by the tractor or truck when spraying the farm need to be factored into the equation because they are real and increase greenhouse gas concentrations while the N2O emissions the spraying was trying to reduce are part of a natural cycle and have no impact on greenhouse gas concentrations.
Better to decide on the basis of economics and other nitrogen related environmental issues.