Cork receives the highest number of Nitrates inspections, according to figures released by the Department of Agriculture to AgriLand. This comes amid calls for greater transparency by the Charter of Farmers Rights this week.

Some 317 inspections have been carried out so far on soil in Cork in 2013, according to new figures released by the Department of Agriculture.


The test for Nitrates is carried out on an annual basis due to EU regulations, with Tipperary being the next highest county with 186 inspections. Dublin and Longford received the lowest number of inspections with 12 and 18 respectively.

Counties Donegal, Longford and Sligo have seen the largest drop in its inspections. Donegal received 46 inspections so far this year, compared to 123 for 2012. Sligo received 23 compared to 59 last year, and Longford 18 compared to 48.

Dublin has seen the smallest drop in inspections so far in 2013, with 12 so far in 2013 compared to 14 in 2012. Offaly and Roscommon have seen the next lowest drop in inspections, with 54 and 52 this year respectively compared to 67 and 66.


Meanwhile, the Charter of Farmers Rights this week has called for greater transparency on the area of inspections and penalties, in particular in the area of land eligibility.

Earlier this month, some 4,800 farmers were issued fines with regard to retrospective land eligibility issues.

Image Fertiliser spreading by Photo O’Gorman Photography

A breakdown of nitrates inspections across Ireland so far this year and last:
Number of Nitrates Inspections 2012 and 2013 to date:

County 2012 2013 to date
Carlow 53 21
Cavan 94 57
Clare 76 47
Cork 416 317
Donegal 123 46
Dublin 14 12
Galway 189 107
Kerry 193 140
Kildare 57 36
Kilkenny 105 65
Laois 107 58
Leitrim 41 25
Limerick 190 126
Longford 48 18
Louth 38 22
Mayo 120 93
Meath 114 70
Monaghan 122 70
Offaly 66 52
Roscommon 67 54
Sligo 59 23
Tipperary 295 186
Waterford 141 73
Westmeath 75 34
Wexford 140 93
Wicklow 52 23
Total 2,995 1,868

Under EU regulations governing the Single Payment Scheme, Disadvantaged Areas Scheme and other area related schemes, the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine is required to carry-out Cross Compliance inspections on 1 per cent of applicants annually to ensure compliance with regulatory requirements in the areas of public, animal and plant health, environment and animal welfare.

In addition, since 2010, the Department has carried-out some 1,600 Nitrates inspections annually under the Good Agricultural Practice (GAP) regulations on behalf of the Department of Environment, Community and Local Government under an inter-agency agreement.

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