Tony Killeen, minister of state at the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, has reminded County Clare farmers the deadline for receipt of nitrate derogation applications is Wednesday, March 31.

Speaking last Tuesday (March 16), he said: “Intensive grassland farmers are allowed to exceed the general limit of 170 kg of nitrogen per hectare per year on their farm, up to a limit of 250 kg, provided that they have a derogation in place.”

Under the derogation eligible famers can put up to 250kg of livestock manure nitrogen per hectare per year on their farm instead of 170kg, but conditions are attached to the extra allowance.

These include that farmers must have a fertiliser plan on the farm by March 1, submit a copy with their derogation application by March 31 and have all their land soil tested at least once every four years.

Farmers who believe they are likely to go over the limit of 170 kg of nitrogen per hectare this year should apply.

For full details of the derogation system go to the department’s website here.

David Gibbs

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