Renewal of Nitrates Derogation Will Support Sustainable Delivery of Food Wise 2025 Targets

IFA President Joe Healy has said that the EU Commission decision today to renew Ireland’s Nitrates Derogation will underpin the sustainable delivery of growth objectives in the Food Wise 2025 Strategy.

Speaking from a major conference on the strategy today, Joe Healy described the review as an important first step in addressing significant soil fertility issues, with increased phosphorous allowances for nutrient deficient soils. He said this will support grass growth and reduce the need for additional concentrates to be used by farmers.

IFA Environment Chairman Thomas Cooney added that over the past 12 months, IFA has led a robust campaign here and in Brussels to secure the necessary changes to make the Nitrates Regulation more workable for farmers. “I particularly welcome the move by the Departments of Agriculture and Local Government to achieve better compliance with the regulation, to reduce penalties imposed on farmers and to move to a more collaborative approach.”

IFA expressed concern over the introduction of additional restrictions for those who avail of the derogation, and who wish to spread slurry. Thomas Cooney said the additional costs associated with slurry management for farmers who spread after June 15th will require increased TAMS funding. Also, concerns regarding the transitional arrangements for pig and poultry farmers must be addressed over the coming weeks.

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