Intensive dairy farming boost as EU renews Ireland’s nitrates derogation

The EU has renewed Ireland’s nitrates derogation allowing more intensive farmers to operate at a higher stocking rate.

The derogation allows farmers to exceed the limit of 170kg of organic nitrogen per hectare set down in the nitrates regulations, up to a maximum of 250kg per hectare, subject to adherence to stricter rules.

The EU nitrates management committee in Brussels yesterday voted to renew Ireland’s derogation, which will run to the end of 2017, when the third programme concludes. The decision is particularly welcome for Ireland’s intensive dairy farmers.

Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney said: “The renewal of the derogation for a further four years is great news for Ireland’s farmers.”


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