Nitrates derogation 2020 open for applications

The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine has announced that applications for the 2020 nitrates derogation can now be submitted online.

The applications can be submitted through the department’s online portal, agfood.ie.

The department highlighted that over 6,800 intensively stocked farmers availed of the derogation in 2019.

The 2020 nitrates derogation terms and conditions include the full list of recommendations put forward by the Expert Review Group, who proposed additional conditions for those farming in derogation that support the “multiple objectives” of a competitive agriculture sector and “minimising negative impacts on water quality”.

The review was carried out jointly in 2019 by experts from the Department of Agriculture; the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government; Teagasc; and the EPA.

The review proposed recommendations that were accepted by the ministers of both department’s – namely Michael Creed and Eoghan Murphy.

The nitrates derogation is now contingent on meeting water quality standards, and these additional measures in the requirements of the 2020 scheme are designed to provide added protections to water quality.

Applications for the derogation can only be submitted online. The purpose of this is, according to the department, to simplify the process and to allow farmers to avoid penalties.

The closing date for submitting applications is Wednesday, April 8.

The department said in a statement that: “Farmers can also remain compliant with the regulations by managing their livestock to farm below the limits; exporting enough slurry/farmyard manure; or renting additional land – but these farmers are also subject to additional requirements this year.”

N and P statements

Furthermore, the department also announced that nitrogen and phosphorous (N and P) statements up to the end of December 2019 are now available through agfood.ie.

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