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The Rise of Environmental Jobs in Agriculture

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Agriculture is changing substantially, with an increasing focus on eco-friendly processes to ensure that farming does not impact negatively on the environment. With increasing concern about climate change, pressure is mounting on the agricultural sector to reduce the atmospheric emissions of ammonia and phosphorous orientating from their livestock. Farmers are also being encouraged to purchase green energy sources to either utilise on their own premises or supply to the grid. With this being the case, there is currently a sharp increase in agricultural jobs with a focus on the environment and new environmentally friendly technology. Whether your background is dietetics, environmental studies, engineering or green energy there are agriculture jobs perfect for you.

Current agriculture problems and solutions

  • Ammonia and phosphorous removal

The highest source of ammonia excretion in the United Kingdom comes from agriculture; primarily pig, cattle and poultry livestock. Stringent new laws are currently being implemented to ensure that dangerous gas emissions are kept to a minimum. Though currently a lot of the laws relating to ammonia levels focus on renovations and new farm enterprises rather than existing farms, pressure is continuing to mount for all farms to reduce their ammonia levels. Farmers will also have to show that any slurry spread will not cause the land to exceed legal phosphorous levels. The agricultural sector is therefore under increasing pressure to find methods to reduce dangerous emissions coming from their livestock.

  • Abatement systems

One such method is the introduction of an abatement system. An abatement system draws air out of a livestock house, cleaning the air as it exits before being pumped back into the environment. Throughout Europe, abatement systems are becoming increasingly popular, and they are beginning to make their way into the United Kingdom. These systems will substantially reduce ammonia levels, and may soon become a legal requirement for larger farms in order to meet the new strict ammonia emission laws.

  • Increase in green energy

The UK is committed to substantially increasing its production of green energy. Farmers are also under increasing pressure to find new eco-friendly energy sources to supply the high electricity demands of their farm enterprises. Farmers are in a prime position to supply green energy because they usually have the resources needed to produce green energy, such as land needed for wind turbines or slurry to be utilised in anaerobic digesters. Whether it is to supply their own farm or to feed back to the grid, many farmers are investing in new green energy sources.

  • Anaerobic digesters (ADs)

Anaerobic digesters are increasing in popularity, and this is not solely because of their utilisation as a green energy source. The use of anaerobic digesters helps to transform the gases emitted from slurry to reduce the impact of harmful gases.

What does this mean for jobs in agriculture?
There are a range of new opportunities opening up in agriculture due to the new legal requirements in terms of potentially harmful emissions and the increase in the use of green energy. Whether you are a dietitian, engineer, technology specialist, environmental consultant, green energy specialist, have expertise pertaining to anaerobic digesters or have a talent for maintaining good paperwork and reporting results, the agricultural sector has the job for you.

Nutritionists / Dietitians

Livestock diet has a huge impact on ammonia levels, and dietary specialists are now in increasing demand to support farmers to source the best feed for their livestock to help them reduce harmful emissions coming from their livestock. Dietitians can also help farmers substantially increase the health and profitability of their livestock.

Engineers/technology specialists

In relation to technology, the new emphasis on abatement systems, green energy and anaerobic digesters will mean that the agricultural sector will be looking to sharply increase the number of engineers and technology specialists in its midst. A farmer who is prepared to invest a large amount of money in some of the newest technology will want to have a member of staff onboard to ensure this equipment is well maintained and run efficiently.

Environmental consultants

There is an increasing pressure on farmers to prove that their farms are not contributing negatively to the environment. Whether a farmer requires a robust environmental statement to supply the body of proof required to get a new farm enterprise or a renovation through planning, or support to complete the now copious amounts of paperwork required on an annual basis to show a farmer is maintaining good environmental standards, there are a range of jobs now opening up within the agricultural sector. This includes people with a background in architecture, engineering, odour modelling, noise pollution, water pollution or environmental studies to name a few.

Green energy/AD specialists

Wind turbines, anaerobic digesters and other green energy sources do not come cheap. Once a farmer has invested a substantial amount in a system such as this they are going to want to have staff involved in their business with an understanding of the inner workings of their new technology. A background in engineering, green energy or environmental studies will serve you well as agriculture moves into the future.

Reporting jobs

With an increasing emphasis placed upon farmers to produce copious amounts of annual paperwork to document information on their ammonia levels, slurry spread, phosphorous levels, livestock health etc., farmers are looking for specialists who can manage a lot of the new reporting processes farming businesses are now expected to perform.

Perhaps you are a farmer who wants to increase your environmental credentials through the improvement of your dietary provisions to your livestock, obtaining an abatement system or through the purchasing of green energy equipment such as wind turbines or through AD. Maybe you are a farm manager who needs additional support to maintain the correct records now needed when reporting back to governmental bodies on your environmental impact. If so Agricultural Recruitment Specialists can help you recruit the perfect person for your needs.

Please find out more at: or call us on 01905 345 155.