The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Simon Coveney has announced that, for 2013, Nitrates Derogation applications and plans can be submitted on-line by farmers and their agents registered with agfood.ie. Both the on-line system and postal applications will be available from Monday 18th February 2013.
The Minister also announced that the Nitrogen and Phosphorus statements for 2012 are now available to all farmers on agfood.ie. “These statements are there to assist farmers in deciding whether or not they need to apply for a Derogation”, Minister Coveney said. He added that “this is the ideal time to consider whether or not to apply for a Derogation in 2013. 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 an approved Derogation”.
Farmers between 150 and 250 kgs Nitrogen per hectare, who are registered with the Department for text alerts, will receive their figures by text message. Written statements will only issue to those herd owners in breach of the 170/250 kg limits. The Minister encouraged farmers that expect to exceed the stocking rate limit in 2013 to apply for a Derogation or take other remedial action and thereby avoid penalties being applied to their scheme payments.
The Minister confirmed that, as in previous years, the closing date for receipt of paper Derogation applications by the Department will be the 31st March 2013. Applications will, however, be accepted using the on-line system until the 14th April 2013.
Farmers not already registered for agfood.ie can do so by logging onto www.agfood.ie and clicking the ‘Register’ button. To register a mobile phone number for future SMS text alerts log on to https://www.agriculture.gov.ie/mobileupdates/ to access the sign-on form, or alternatively contact the regional office.