Nitrates Review Must Safeguard Existing Derogation

IRELAND - Following the publication of the Nitrates review document, IFA President John Bryan has urged the Environment Minister John Gormley and Agriculture Minister Brendan Smith to ensure the interests of the economically important livestock, dairy, tillage, pig and poultry sectors are fully respected and protected.
calendar icon 14 June 2010
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Mr Bryan stressed that “It is essential to continue the nitrates derogation, which allows our most productive dairy, beef and tillage farmers to maximise output in an environmentally sustainable way and achieve the potential of the industry identified in the Department of Agriculture’s 2020 strategy.“

He said, “The Government has failed to identify alternatives for the pig and poultry sector and has an obligation to continue the current arrangements for this sector until an alternative is identified.“

“Grain farmers have suffered three years of heavy losses and this review of the nitrates regulation presents an opportunity to improve competitiveness by permanently lifting the ban on winter ploughing and the requirement for green cover. In addition current allowable nitrogen application rates for spring malting barley are negatively impacting on malting barley protein specifications & yields and must be raised to meet brewers’ requirements,“ he said.

“The last number of seasons has clearly shown that calendar farming imposed by the current regulations does not work. It is vital that flexibility is provided for in the regulations to enable farmers to farm in a sustainable manner and maintain competitiveness“, he added.

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