Study finds organic farming cuts nitrate leaching

Organic farming methods can reduce nitrate leaching into water supplies and may even achieve acceptable nitrate losses in the most sensitive areas, studies by Elm Farm Research Centre (EFRC) have shown. The findings counter results from manuring experiments which show nitrate losses at least as large as those from conventional agriculture.

Areas where nitrate levels in surface or groundwaters exceed the EC drinking water standard of 50mg/l or are at risk of doing so will be designated as "vulnerable zones" under the 1991 EC Directive on nitrate in water (ENDS Report 205, p 35 ). Land use controls intended to curb nitrate leaching will be introduced

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