Cattle-only nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) statements for the period January 1 to August 31, 2022 are now available on the agfood portal, the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine has confirmed.

The N and P statements will allow farmers plan for the remainder of the year to ensure compliance with the limits set in the nitrates regulations, thus avoiding penalties for breaching the limits of 170kg of organic N/ha, or the limit of 250kg N/ha for farmers who hold an approved nitrates derogation.

Since March 11 this year, the maximum stocking rate permitted for commonage is 50kg N/ha, with no chemical nitrogen permitted.

The department advises that farmers can take the following measures to avoid exceeding the nitrogen limits:

  • Renting additional land;
  • Reducing livestock numbers;
  • Exporting enough slurry/farmyard manure and declaring the movement online.

The department has also confirmed that the deadline for all farmers, including nitrates derogation applicants, to declare movements of organic nitrogen off their holding, is December 31.

All movements must be declared and verified online by this date.

Farmers not already registered for the agfood portal can do so by logging onto the site and clicking the register button.

In Budget 2023, plans for a scheme of accelerated capital allowance for slurry storage facilities were announced.

Farmers will be able to claim on 50% of the expenditure over a two-year period, a shorter time scale that capital allowance is typically available for, but at a higher rate than usual.

“This will assist the sector in adopting environmentally positive farming practices,” Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe said as he announced plans for the measure.

However, this capital allowance will not apply to shed buildings, Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Charlie McConalogue said.

The minister said that the allowance will only apply to slurry storage.

Minister McConalogue highlighted that the Targeted Agricultural Modernisation Scheme (TAMS) remains available to farmers to offset the cost of farm buildings.

The agriculture minister also said that the costing references for TAMS would be reviewed to take account of the new 10% levy on concrete products introduced to cover the cost of the scheme to redress the mica defective-concrete-block issue.