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Minister announces Nitrates Derogation Requirements for 2010

The Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Brendan Smith TD, has reminded farmers that they should start thinking about whether they need a nitrates derogation for the current year.  "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," he said.

The Minister advised that details of the derogation process are available on the Department's website.   In addition farmers will be able to get forms in their local District Veterinary Office or from the Department's Nitrates Section, Johnstown Castle, Wexford.

The Minister said farmers who intend to apply for a derogation must

  • have a fertiliser plan on the farm by 1st March
  • submit a copy of the fertiliser plan with the application unless an approved REPS 4 plan is in place.
  • apply to the Department for a derogation by the closing date of Wednesday, 31st March 2010.  No applications for derogations will be accepted after this date.
  • have all their land soil tested at least once every four years

The Minister added that "The Department is in the process of issuing Nitrogen and Phosphorus Statements for 2009 to the more intensive farmers, which will assist with their decision regarding whether they need a derogation in 2010".  Reps 4 participants will also receive a statement regardless of their livestock manure application, as it is a requirement in REPS 4 that the nitrogen and phosphorus details are recorded in their REPS record sheets. All other farmers can obtain copies of their Statement from the local District Veterinary Office, from the Department's Nitrates Section, Johnstown Castle, Wexford, or on-line for registered users at

Date Released: 03 February 2010