Aiming Possible Ban on Urea Fertilizers in UK

Defra’s consultation on reducing the use of urea-based fertilizers to control ammonia emissions met with controversies, most of the agriculturists are blaming state departments for not being aware of current adapted types of farming practices.

Now the state is considering a third option to ban the use of solid urea fertilizers.

On the other hand, the National Farmers Union is encouraging farmers to quickly respond to this consultation, ban on solid urea will affect the farming system and its output.

The Defra consultation, which started in early November, will last 12 weeks until January 26, 2021.

Defra’s consultation on reducing ammonia emissions outlines three policy options, to regulate the sale or use of solid urea, however, the use of liquid urea will be practiced as earlier.

While setting commitment for Clean Air Strategy, the state has set the three policy options to reduce ammonia emissions, which are:

  • Total solid urea ban.
  • Stabilized use of solid urea with added urease inhibitor.
  • Techniques to restrict the spreading of solid urea used only between 15 Jan – 31 Mar.

The ammonia emissions are toxic to both natural habitat and human health. 87% of the ammonia emissions is coming from agriculture – 18% of which is accredited to synthetic fertilizer application.


The state has pledged to reduce emissions by 8% by 2020 compared to 2005 and 16% by 2030.

The National Farmers Union is asking farmers to respond to this consultation that will end on January 26, 2021.

Matt Culley, chairman of the union of combinable crops, said urea is the most widely used form of nitrogen fertilizer and a tool to increase food production.

“Urea has several benefits when used with ammonium nitrate, and helps maintain a competitive fertilizer market. UK farming is committed to fighting climate change and has goal Zero by 2040,” He said.

Moreover, a new UK research center aims to enable farmers against climate change. The NFU says it shouldn’t’ be banned without finding an alternative. This ban will result in a decrease in food production and market supply shortage. Urea is a highly valuable product it increases field outputs.

George Eustis, Secretary Defra, said that the changes would be made to support the farmers in a realistic and achievable way.

“But it cannot be ignored that the ammonia emissions are severally damaging sensitive and critical habitats and harming natural biodiversity, he added.

“Now it is important for farmers to release global crises and keeping the importance of urea, a responsible use would be a way better option than the other policy options,” says consultation commentators.