Department publishes N&P statements up to May 2019

Interim nitrogen and phosphorus statements (N&P statements) for the period January to May 2019 are now available on the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine’s online system: www.agfood.ie, the department has announced.

These statements are particularly useful to allow farmers to plan for the remainder of the year, in order to ensure compliance with the limits of the nitrates regulations, thus avoiding penalties for breaching limits, according to the authority.

The limit for farmers is 170kg/ha of N, while the limit for those who hold an approved derogation is 250kg/ha, the department reiterated.

Farmers not already registered for agfood.ie can do so by logging onto: www.agfood.ie and clicking the ‘register’ button.

Nitrates review ‘crunch time’

Meanwhile, on a related note, Government has been called on by the Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA) to ensure that the soon-to-be-published recommendations from the nitrates derogation review support the sustainable development of the sector.

Urging the Government, IFA environment chairman Thomas Cooney said:

“The recommendations of the expert group established by the Department of Agriculture cannot be just about more restrictions.

“The IFA has presented a robust package of proposals as part of a Sustainability Development Programme which must be supported by Government.”

The chairman outlined the IFA’s proposals, which include:
  • Retention of the nitrates derogation for the cohort of farmers who contribute over €900 million in agricultural output each year, in every county;
  • No additional obligations on lower-stocked farms;
  • Extension of the accelerated capital allowance relief for the purchase of low emissions slurry spreading equipment;
  • Co-ordination of Government departments and state agencies to deliver farm-scale renewables and other measures in Teagasc’s climate roadmap; and
  • Supports for greater use of protected urea, lime, slurry additives and soil aeration.

“Farming is playing its part when it comes to environmental action,” Cooney said.

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