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Minister Coveney Announces Nitrates Derogation Requirements for 2012

The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Simon Coveney TD, today announced the application requirements for farmers seeking a Nitrates Derogation this year. He advised that details of the derogation process are now available on the Department's website. In addition farmers will be able to get the relevant forms in their nearest Department Office or from the Nitrates Section, Johnstown Castle, Wexford.

The Minister confirmed that, as in previous years, the closing date for receipt of applications by the Department will be the 31st March 2012. No applications for derogations will be accepted after this date. A copy of the fertiliser plan must be submitted with the application unless the farmer has either an approved derogation for 2010 or 2011 or an approved REPS 4 plan in place.

Minister Coveney said that "this is the ideal time to consider whether or not to apply for a derogation in 2012. Intensive grassland farmers are allowed to exceed the general limit of 170 kg of nitrogen per hectare per year from livestock manure on their farm, up to a limit of 250 kg, provided that they have a derogation in place."

The Minister also announced that the Nitrogen and Phosphorus statements for 2011 will be issuing to the more intensive farmers shortly. "These statements are there to assist farmers in deciding whether or not they need to apply for a derogation", he added. The Minister encouraged farmers that will exceed the Nitrates limits to apply for a derogation or take other remedial action and thereby avoid penalties being applied to their scheme payments.

Minister Coveney said that the Department is continuing with the initiative introduced last year to inform the less intensive farmers of their estimated capacity to take in and use organic fertilisers as an alternative to buying in chemical fertiliser. A key element of the growth projections under Food Harvest 2020 is the drive for greater efficiencies at farm level including the cost of input. The efficient use of organic fertiliser is a key point in this context. This information will facilitate farmers to decide if they wish to avail of this valuable resource. "I was encouraged by the response to last year's initiative and I expect an even greater interest this year from farmers who previously would not have considered taking in slurry", the Minister concluded.

Farmers who export organic fertilisers in 2012 are reminded of the requirement to report the movement of organic fertiliser forms (Record 3) to Nitrates Section, Johnstown Castle by 31st December 2012. Export forms received after that date will not be accepted for nitrates credit purposes for 2012.

Date Released: 01 February 2012