The Department of Agriculture has published the finalised map showing the areas that will be subject to the varying limits of the nitrates derogation. Virtually all of county Tipperary is in the 220kg/h designation.
Some farmers will be allowed the 250 kg of nitrates per hectare others will have to comply with a lower limit of 220kg/hectare. A proportion of derogation farms will have lands in both the 250kg/ha area and the 220kg/ha areas. The limit on these farms will be calculated on a parcel-by-parcel basis and where any part of the parcel is within the areas identified at the 250 kg limit, the whole parcel will be subject to this higher limit.
The revised map and lower limits come following a result of the recent water quality review. The new regulations come into effect on January 1st. Minister McConalogue says the EU Commission made it clear that the criteria set out in the derogation decision would not change.
Approximately 6% of land expected to have the lower limit has been designated for the higher 250 kg limit. The Minister says the underlying water quality is good in these areas and appropriate action from an agricultural perspective can protect that good water quality status.
Under the Nitrates Regulations (S.I. 113 of 2022) farmers across Europe must not apply more than 170kgs of nitrogen from livestock manure per hectare per year. Compliance with the Nitrates Regulations is one of the Statutory Management Requirements under the Single Payment Scheme. Ireland had secured a derogation for some farmers to have a higher limit of 250kg/hectare. Compliance with a lower level will require farmers to have a lower stocking rate of livestock, acquire extra land or have someone else take some of their slurry for disposal.