Thousands of farmers found breaching nitrate provisions

Penalties avoidable by respecting approved measures.

Sligo News File Online.

Nearly 2,000 herd owners were hit with penalties for breaches of the nitrate directive in 2015.

Michael Creed, TD, Fine Gael. Minister for Agriculture

Figures for 2016 are not yet available, Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed has said.

Responding to questions, Creed he said the total contraventions in 2015 ran to 1,968.

Measures farmers could observe to avoid the penalties he said were:

– Applying for a derogation;

– Renting additional land;

– Reducing livestock numbers;

– Exporting slurry/farmyard manure

His Department, he said has put significant effort into trying to reduce the number of these penalties, including:

– Text messaging of farmers during the year with the up-to-date position vis a vis the limits,

– Interim statement on N available on-line during the year.

– Telephone helpline for advisors and farmers,

– Work ongoing with a behavioural economist ( ESRI) Fodder Crisis.”