The Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) appointed Sami Ullah, School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences as an advisor to join the Nutrient Management Expert Group (NMEG) at DEFRA. Fertilizers and nutrient management: the planning, storage and application of fertilizers to land for crop production can have unintended consequences for environmental quality. Sustaining crop production whilst protecting air and water quality in agricultural catchments is a key challenge and thus, on-farm fertilization decisions requires clear, concise and science-driven policy guidelines to secure food and to protect and enhance environmental quality. Under the DEFRA’s Clean Air Strategy of 2019 and the Environmental Land Management Policy of 2020, a key impetus is to devise a nutrient management policy that can help meet the challenge of Net Zero Greenhouse Gas Emission by 2050 and ensures protection of water quality and biodiversity. 

The Nutrient Management Expert Group will review and scrutinize existing policy approaches to current challenges, alongside latest science and technical data evidence on fertilizers and nutrient management. Over the next two years, the Group will produce recommendations for optimal policy approaches for fertilizer and nutrients management on land. The new policy measures will be embedded into the DEFRA’s Environmental Land Management founding principles of “public money for public goods” so that support for farmers can be provided for soil husbandry measures for carbon sequestration, restoration of natural ecosystems and conservation of soil health and fertility for food security and healthy water resources.