Nitrates Working Group Must Look at Calendar Farming, Fertiliser Use on Tillage Crops and Solutions for Pigs and Poultry Sectors – IFA

IFA Environment Chairman Pat Farrell has called on Teagasc and the Department of Agriculture to immediately start working on solutions to address calendar farming, fertiliser use on tillage crops and the phasing out of the phosphorous provision for the pigs and poultry sectors.

Speaking after a day-long meeting of the IFA National Environment Committee, which included a presentation from the Department of Agriculture, Pat Farrell said, “The nitrates working group which the Department of Agriculture has agreed to establish, following the recent publication of the new Nitrates Action Plan, has a significant work programme to complete in order to resolve the outstanding issues in the nitrates regulations.”

Pat Farrell added, “The continuation of the phosphorous provision for the pigs and poultry sectors is an important achievement by IFA. However the Department of Agriculture has decided that this provision will be phased out from 2013 and there is now a responsibility on the Department and Teagasc to immediately find workable solutions in advance of this deadline. IFA will ensure that a significant priority of this working group is to identify cost effective solutions.”

The Environment Chairman has also called on Teagasc to immediately commence research to provide flexibility for slurry spreading during the closed period, particularly in the lead into the start of the closed period and towards the end of the closed period. In addition he called on Teagasc to address the research deficit in the tillage sector by immediately commencing a research programme into the targeted usage of phosphorous on winter sown arable crops.

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