The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue, T.D., today announced that 2021 Nitrates Derogation applications can now be submitted using the Departments on-line portal, www.agfood.ie Farmers are advised to contact their agricultural advisor to determine if they should avail of this facility.
The Nitrates Derogation provides farmers an opportunity to farm at higher stocking rates, subject to certain conditions designed to protect the environment and meet the requirements of the Nitrates Directive. The Nitrates Derogation is contingent on meeting water quality standards, and these measures are designed to protect water quality. Indeed 2021 will see a full review of the Nitrates regulations including the derogation facility. The Derogation is an important facility for more intensive farmers. Almost 6,500 intensively stocked farmers availed of the derogation in 2020.
The Minister stated, “I would encourage more intensively stocked farmers to engage early with this application process and discuss the need for a derogation with their agricultural advisor.”
The online system is aimed at simplifying the application process and assisting farmers to avoid penalties. Farmers can also remain compliant with the Regulations by managing their livestock, exporting enough slurry/farmyard manure, or renting additional land.
The closing date for applications is 31st March 2021. Farmers who applied for a derogation in 2020 are also reminded they must submit 2020 Fertiliser Accounts for 2020 by 31st March 2021 also.
Farmers not already registered for agfood.ie can do so by logging onto www.agfood.ie and clicking the ‘Register’ button. More information is available on the Department’s website at the following link: www.gov.ie/en/service/department-of-agriculture-and-foods-online-services/
Further information, including Terms & Conditions are available on the Department’s website here: www.gov.ie/en/publication/c9563-rural-environment-sustainability-nitrates/#nitrates-derogation