On Monday evening, the Irish Farmers Journal team hosted a webinar detailing proposals within the Department of Agriculture’s draft Nitrates Action Programme. Over 2,000 farmers tuned in. It was unfortunate that despite Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue’s commitment to consult extensively with farmers, no one from his Department was available to join and provide clarity on the range of outstanding issues.

The level of farmer interest is not surprising given the increased regulatory burden set to be imposed on farmers operating at what are relatively low stocking rates. The requirement for farmers stocked at over 100kg of organic N/ha (just 1.1 cows per ha) to use Low Emissions Slurry Spreading (LESS) equipment is estimated to see an additional 60,000 farmers having to adopt this technology.