The announcement that Ireland has obtained its Nitrates Derogation for the next four years is hugely important in particular for dairy farmers and is a welcome development but the practical implementation of many of the measures will have to be teased out and will have to be dealt with in a common-sense approach according to Mr. John Comer, President of ICMSA.
Quite clearly, Mr. Comer said, there is a growing emphasis on environmental issues and farmers understand this and have invested in their facilities accordingly. However, there is real and genuine concerns at farm level regarding the practical implementation of some measures including the new measures in relation to farm roadways and water troughs and also the new requirements in relation to slurry spreading on derogation farms which were announced yesterday.
It is absolutely essential that these measures are implemented fairly and take account of specific farm and regional circumstances for example contractor availability during the silage season and that farmers are not over regulated with limited environmental benefit. Sustainability and simplification are two words being used very regularly these days and if they are to mean anything to farmers, the derogation regulations will have to be implemented in a practical way recognising specific farm and regional circumstances, concluded Mr. Comer.
Ends 5 December 2017
John Comer, 087 2057846