Managing on-farm environmental impact using EMA.
There have been many initiatives recently aimed towards delivering policies relating to agricultural sustainability, particularly with respect to minimising environmental impact without compromising profitability. The final objective of these is normally to protect food and environmental quality, and preserve biodiversity and the natural heritage. The agricultural industry is in a time of significant change, and managing change can be difficult not least when trying to ensure awareness, response to new opportunities and compliance with legislation. For changes of this type to be practical and attractive, farmers need considerable guidance on what is inevitably a more labour, resource and time demanding process. The Environmental Management for Agriculture (EMA) software provides one mechanism by which this support can be distributed. It contains a library, decision support tools, databases, planning aids and audits for farm use. It has been available for several years in England and Wales and is now available for Scotland.