Brittany, the leading breeding region, weighs heavily on fine particle emissions, particularly during spring spreading. The consequence of the diffusion of ammonia from the excrements of pigs, poultry and other cattle, whose weight (99%), was recalled by the latest Air Breizh investigation.
With regard to Breton livestock, “the share of agriculture is high and will remain so,” confirms Charlotte Quénard, “air quality” officer at the Brittany Chamber of Agriculture. For the past ten years, the Crécom experimental station in Saint-Nicolas du Pélem (22) has been working to reduce ammonia emissions in pig farms. The solutions are within reach for agriculture, forced to reduce its emissions by 13% by 2030.
First promising results
In the shelter of the Crécom station buildings, Bertrand Le Bris and his team are experimenting with several solutions. The first results are promising: a 30% drop in emissions thanks to ventilation, 40% by changing the protein level in the diet or 20 to 30% by better management of excreta.
On the spreading side, 30 farmers from the Pays d’Iroise and the Brest conurbation should be the first to benefit from a decision-making tool. Called Ammoniac Brittany Ambient Air, the Life program has just been launched with European funding. Co-piloted by Air Breizh and the Chamber of Agriculture, it should make it possible “to develop an alert network for pollution peaks”, announces Léna Oddos, in charge of fertilization at the consular chamber. Farmers will be able to program their interventions using equipment that limits ammonia concentrations in the atmosphere.
A question of means
A reduction in the herd? “Relocating the farms is not solving the problem”, defends Didier Lucas. The vice-president of the chamber of agriculture wants his children “to be able to eat Breton chicken” and calls on the State to financially support the modernization of farms. Otherwise, the 13% drop in ammonia emissions is a difficult target for the profession.
For the Chamber of Agriculture, “the means on the table are not up to the expectations, nor the stakes”. She takes as proof the envelope of the recovery plan intended for the reduction of phytos and ammonia, consumed in three weeks, at the beginning of January.