IFA National Pigs and Pigmeat Committee Chairman Tim Cullinan welcomed the successful conclusion to negotiations between farmers and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that will improve competitiveness by reducing costly and unnecessary double regulation.
‘Negotiations on this matter have been on-going for some time but ultimately this resolution will mean a reduction in unnecessary costs for farmers and more streamlined recording practices on farms. This will be of benefit not just to farmers who are exporting organic manures but also to farmers who can save money by substituting expensive chemical fertilizers with their organic equivalent.
Mr Cullinan said ‘in basic terms, the argument has revolved around the fact that since the introduction of Integrated Pollution Prevention Control licensing (IPPC) on pig and poultry farms, the EPA has requested that licensable farmers submit information pertaining to the activities of their customer farmers for organic fertilizer. IFA have always rejected this as an unfair and costly double regulation on farmers.
Cullinan said ‘Since the introduction of IPPC licensing several other pieces of relevant legislation have come into force including the Nitrates Regulations. These regulations, which are monitored by the competent authority, the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine now replace the previous requirements of the EPA. Farmers record where manure is transferred too and the recipient farmer records how much he used. There are legal limits in place as to how much can be used and the Department of Agriculture are responsible for enforcing these rules’.
‘The use of organic fertilizers should be promoted and these changes will aid farmers in using the material by reducing the red tape that was at times associated with it. This will be of benefit to the environment as nutrients are being reused within the agricultural cycle instead of being imported, Cullinan concluded.