Nitrates compliance a must for TAMS slurry storage grants – Department

Farmers have been warned to check their Nitrates compliance standards before applying for the new TAMS II farm building grants.

Speaking at a recent Irish Farm Managers Association farm walk, Department official Sean Molloy said under new regulations the Department cannot grant aid non-compliant farmers for slurry storage investments.

He highlighted that this was a turnaround from previous grant aid schemes such as the Farm Waste Management Scheme where the Department was able to grant aid non-compliance to bring farmers up to compliance in relation to nitrates storage.

However, Molloy said since it is now compulsory for farmers to have enough storage over the winter for the amount of animals on their farms the Department cannot grant aid non-compliant farmers to reach the compliance.

“If you’re in an area where you need 16 weeks storage and you only have 13-14 weeks storage. We cannot grant aid you to reach compliance.

“If you are applying today the department look at the previous full winter period,” he said.

“We are now in a situation were you are actually breaking the law if you not compliant. We cannot grant aid guys who break the law.”

Molloy stressed that nitrates compliance is vital depending on the type of investment farmers are applying for.

“We have segregated the investments into different types. If you’re a dairy farmer for instance and you just want to apply for a milk parlour that has nothing to do with nutrient storage. There is no problem.

“However if you apply for anything to do with nutrient storage or animal housing you must show that you are nitrates compliant at time of application,” he said.

Molloy outlined that a section has been built into the application process where farmers must detail there current slurry storage situation.

Reporting

Molloy also warned that non-compliant farmers who submit applications for TAMS II grants could also be at risk of receiving a Basic Payment Scheme penalty.

“If you give us details that you are not compliant we cannot ignore that. It will be cross reported to the Nitrates section in the Department and will effect your basic payment,” he said.

Minister for Agriculture, Simon Coveney, this week announced the opening of two new TAMS II Schemes: the Animal Welfare, Safety and Nutrient Storage Scheme and the Low Emission Slurry Spreading Scheme – LESS – which are the third and fourth of the new Targeted Agricultural Modernisation Schemes (TAMS) to be launched under the new Rural Development Programme 2014 – 2020. For information on TAMS II visit out dedicated section.