Farm organisations have called for a TAMS grant for low emission slurry spreading (LESS) to be increased to 60% under the next Nitrates Action Programme (NAP).
In its submission on the review of the NAP, which is the basis of the nitrates derogation, the IFA called for the slurry storage scheme under TAMS to be made available to all farmers and said that development charges and planning permission must be simplified.
It proposed that pig slurry and poultry litter not be included for the calculation of nitrogen and phosphorus on derogation farms.
Both the IFA and the ICMSA called for training to be provided for farmers to make better use of nutrient management plans (NMPs) and for an online tool to be made available for farmers to use.
The ICMSA has said the nitrates derogation is essential for the future of commercial farming in Ireland.
It called for farmers affected by the fencing of watercourses to be compensated for the loss of production caused by the fencing, adding that there should be an increased focus on lime in the NMPs.
ICMSA believes that the current ban on importing animal manure onto derogation farms should be removed to allow for the maximum utilisation of organic manures on those farms that have a high nutrient requirement.
Teagasc has dismissed the possibility of a separate stocking rate for grazing platforms as “administratively arduous.” It suggested that nutrient use efficiency, rather than stocking rate, be used to regulate within-farm practice.
It pushed back against additional measures for herds based solely on their scale, as larger herds complying with regulated stocking rate limits presented no greater risk than other farms. On LESS equipment, Teagasc said measures to support contractors should be considered to ensure widespread availability.
It backed plans for an automated national record keeping system for fertiliser sales per farm.
Agricultural Consultants Association (ACA)
The ACA has said all farmers should be required to have a nutrient management plan (NMP).
It recommended including those farms stocked above 140kg N/ha first, before extending to all farms.
It has backed plans for a central database that tracks fertiliser sales on a per herd basis.
On slurry exports, it has called for a streamlining of the record-keeping process. It wants to see slurry export dockets submitted online and in real time, with the closing date aligned to the closing of the spreading season.