N and P Statements to October 31 available online

The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine has announced that interim Nitrogen and Phosphorus statements (N and P Statements) for the period January to October 2020 are now available on the department’s online system.

The department notes that these statements allow farmers to plan for the remainder of the year, in order to ensure compliance with the limits of the nitrates regulations.

Penalties are levied on farmers for breaching the limits of 170kg of nitrogen per hectare, or 250kg of nitrogen per hectare for those who hold an approved derogation.

Public consultation launched on Ireland’s Nitrates Action Programme

In other news, Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue and Minister for Housing Darragh O’Brien announced this week the opening of public consultation in relation to the fourth review of Ireland’s Nitrates Action Programme.

Ireland’s Nitrates Action Programme (NAP) gives effect to the requirements of the Nitrates Directive in Ireland.

The EU (Good Agricultural Practice for Protection of Waters) Regulations 2017 (S.I. No. 605 of 2017), commonly referred to as the nitrates regulations, contain specific measures to protect surface waters and groundwater from nutrient pollution arising from agricultural sources.

The regulations expire at the end of 2021 and a new Nitrates Action Programme must be published at the beginning of 2022.

In opening this public consultation, Minister O’Brien said that protecting and maintaining water quality is a national priority, and that Ireland’s Nitrates Action Programme “plays an important role in helping us to achieve this objective”.

“This review of the programme also gives us an opportunity to ensure it is realising this objective in parallel with biodiversity and climate action objectives as effectively as possible,” he added.