The deadline to apply for the 2021 Nitrates Derogation is tomorrow (Wednesday, April 14).

This follows an extension of two weeks on the original closing date of March 31.

The extension of the closing date was announced by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine on March 25.

Furthermore, the deadline for farmers who applied for a derogation in 2020 to submit fertiliser accounts for last year, is also tomorrow.

Applications can be submitted digitally on the department’s online portal

Farmers are advised to contact their agricultural advisor to determine if they should avail of the derogation.

The Nitrates Derogation is contingent on meeting water quality standards.

The derogation is particularly important for more intensive farmers. Almost 6,500 intensively-stocked farmers availed of the facility in 2020.

The derogation allows farmers to exceed the limit of 170kg of livestock manure nitrogen (N) per hectare set down in the Nitrates Regulations, up to a maximum of 250kg N per hectare. However, stricter rules must be adhered to for farmers under derogation.

Farmers can remain compliant with the regulations by: managing their livestock; exporting enough slurry/farmyard manure; or renting additional land.

All terms and conditions of the Nitrates Derogation must be adhered to in order for an application to be valid.

Farmers not already registered for can do so by logging onto and clicking the ‘Register’ button.