Nitrates Derogation

Farmers Surpass Climate Target on Fertiliser Seven Years Ahead of Schedule

IFA President Tim Cullinan said the latest figures on the drop in fertiliser use show the enormous strides that farmers are taking as part of their commitment to climate action.

The sector’s target of reducing nitrogen fertiliser by 2030 to 300,000 tonnes has already been surpassed based on the latest figures from the Dept of Agriculture.

“Use of Nitrogen fertiliser is down 30% since 2021 and is now at just over 280,000 tonnes, which is below the target set for the sector for 2030. It’s a phenomenal achievement to get beyond the target seven years ahead of time,” he said.

Tim Cullinan said IFA will take part in discussions today with the EU Environment Commissioner Virginijus Sinkevičius about the Nitrates derogation.

“While the Nitrates derogation currently only deals with organic nitrogen, it is hugely significant that farmers have reduced chemical fertiliser by 30% in just two years. This cannot be ignored,” he said. 

“We have consistently said that the work farmers are doing is not fairly acknowledged. Here is clear evidence of the impact that farmers are having. Farmers have implemented over 30 measures on their farms.  It’s vitally important that both the Taoiseach and the Minister for Agriculture deliver a consistent message to the Commissioner on the very significant gains that have been made,” he said.

Overall sales of fertiliser are down one third since 2021 as multi-species swards increase; use of LESS is higher; and more lime is being used to improve soil pH.

The IFA President said the use of protected urea is quite low because of the difficulty in sourcing it. “Farmers looking to use protected urea should not be held back because merchants do not have it.”

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