Explainer-in-brief: A fertiliser win for farmers – even if it stinks
British farmers have won a battle over manure in a bid to find alternatives to increasingly unaffordable and scarce chemical fertilisers. Fertiliser costs have been steadily going up, with the last spike following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
The government had previously banned using manure as a fertiliser last autumn. This decision was taken following concerns about muck causing water pollution. The ban has now been lifted in an effort to support farmers whose pockets have been squeezed harder and harder by rising costs.
When giving evidence to the Commons liaison committee this week, Boris Johnson said he will find out what he can do about reopening one of the two fertiliser plants in the UK.
Containing fertiliser costs would be key to boost home production and deliver more stable food prices. Doing so will be hard however, as prices are up worldwide. It’s more likely that farmers will eye alternative options like, in this case, manure.