Ireland’s nitrates derogation provides farmers an opportunity to farm at higher stocking rates when they take extra steps to protect the environment. In effect a farmer must not exceed 2 dairy cows per hectare without a derogation but can farm at almost 3 cows per hectare if approved for a derogation.
The derogation is available to grassland farmers on an individual basis and permits farmers up to 250 kgs of organic nitrogen per hectare, rather than the 170 kg livestock manure nitrogen per hectare without the derogation.
How to qualify
To qualify for a derogation you must:
be farming a holding that is at least 80% grass
have grazing livestock – derogation is only available in respect of grazing livestock
make an annual online application to the Department in the format specified and no later than 24 April 2020 - no postal applications will be accepted
not import livestock manure even in processed form