Nitrates derogation review must address sustainability, and not just more restrictions

Nitrates derogation review must address sustainability, and not just more restrictions
Thomas Cooney.

The recommendations of the expert nitrates derogation review group established by the Department of Agriculture must support the sustainable development of the sector, according to the Irish Farmers Association.

Environment chairman Thomas Cooney said the recommendations cannot be just about more restrictions.

“IFA has presented a robust package of proposals as part of a Sustainability Development Programme which must be supported by Government,” he said.

Mr Cooney said retention of the nitrates derogation for the cohort of farmers who contribute over €900m in agricultural output each year in every county is one of the IFA’s key proposals.

No additional obligations on lower stocked farms, and an extension of the accelerated capital allowance relief for the purchase of low emissions slurry spreading equipment are being sought.

Other IFA calls include the co-ordination of government departments and state agencies to deliver farm scale renewables and other measures in Teagasc’s climate roadmap and supports for greater use of protected urea, lime, slurry additives and soil aeration.

Phosphorous efficiency almost doubled over the past two decades. Ireland’s dairy farmers have the lowest GHG emissions per kilo of output in the EU. Beef farmers are in the top five for lowest GHG emissions per kilo of output.

The recommendations of the expert nitrates derogation review group established by the Department of Agriculture must support the sustainable development of the sector, according to the Irish Farmers Association.

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