Environmental guidance for your business in Northern Ireland & Scotland

Ammonia emissions from slurry and manure

Ammonia levels and air quality from Slurry and manureslurry spreading from a tractor


Slurry and manure are likely to release ammonia when they come into contact with air. Emissions of ammonia can:

  • Disrupt the balance of some types of vegetation such as heathlands or bogs which exist partly because of naturally low soil nitrogen.
  • Result in acidity when it reacts in the soil. Excess acid in the soil is damaging to certain types of vegetation. 
  • Lead to damaged foliage and slower growth of trees or other vegetation growing close to a source of high ammonia emissions due to the direct toxic effects of the gas.

The UK is required to reduce its ammonia emissions to meet air quality standards.

Good practice

There are many ways to reduce emissions of ammonia from slurry and manure handling, including:

  • using different storage methods for manure
  • using different handling and spreading methods for slurry.

The codes of good agricultural practice provide more information on how you can reduce ammonia emissions.

The NIEA has produced a leaflet about the problems caused by ammonia emissions and what can be done to reduce them.

NIEA: Leaflet on ammonia

SEE ALSO: Slurry, silage effluent and manure,

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