Oslo, Norway: N2 Applied, the European agricultural technology business, has hosted a visit to its longest-running UK pilot farm site by members of the country’s Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (EFRA) Committee as part of its Food Security inquiry.
The inquiry, which is due to be completed by the end of this month, is looking into factors currently affecting food supply chains and food prices in the UK, including the war between Russia and Ukraine, both of which are major exporters of chemical fertiliser. The committee is made up of Members of Parliament from across political parties.
In the visit to Holly Green Farm in Buckinghamshire last Thursday, committee members were given a tour of the N2 Unit, and adjacent slurry management and storage facilities. They also heard about how the science and technology behind the Unit has been developed, and tested in multiple independent trials.
Using a scientific technique that applies just air and electricity to slurry, the technology within the N2 Unit performs a plasma conversion that ‘locks in’ both methane and ammonia to the liquid waste material, producing a sustainable fertiliser rich in nitrogen. N2 Units are powered by electricity, which is typically generated through renewable means on-farm, and with most of that energy being consumed by the plasma torch which is central to the conversion process.
“At a time when fertiliser prices have become crippling for many farmers and the world needs lower emissions from food production, N2 Units represent a solution on multiple levels, and a pathway to circular farming methods. We welcome the Food Security inquiry, and discussion between Government and the agricultural sector, as we work to help identify how farmers can best be supported financially in pioneering the use of this technology,” said Nick Humphries, Chief Agronomist and UK Lead, N2 Applied.
Holly Green is an Arla Innovation Farm, and has been using a N2 Unit to treat dairy slurry for more than 18 months. “We have experienced how this technology can fit into our existing farm environment, and explored its potential for suppressing emissions and producing natural fertiliser on-site. It is a breakthrough that holds great potential for UK food production if pioneering farmers can be helped to introduce it, and so convince others to follow their lead,” said Neil Dyson, farmer at Holly Green Farm.