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10 March 2009: Minister reminds farmers of closing date of 3rd April for Nitrates Derogation applications

The Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Brendan Smith TD, has reminded farmers that the deadline for applying for a Nitrates Derogation is fast approaching. "Farmers who think that they are likely to go over the limit of 170 kg of nitrogen per hectare this year have until Friday 3rd April to submit a derogation application for 2009 to the Department," the Minister said. "This year we have simplified the process by introducing a separate application form and I am reminding farmers that, unlike last year, they will not be able to apply for a derogation on their Single Payment forms."

Intensive grassland farmers are allowed to exceed the general 170 kg limit for nitrogen from livestock manure on their farm, up to a limit of 250 kg, provided that they have a derogation in place. These farmers have already received a copy of their 2008 Nitrogen and Phosphorus Statements, which will have assisted them in deciding whether they need a derogation in 2009.

The new separate application form and full details of the system are available on the Department's website, www.agriculture.gov.ie. Forms (and copies of 2008 Nitrogen & Phosphorus Statements) can also be obtained from local District Veterinary Offices or from the Nitrates Section, Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Johnstown Castle, Co. Wexford (telephone 053-9163444).

10th March 2009

Date Released: 12 March 2009