Strange things are happening with the nitrates directive. When the Minister for Agriculture announced the extension of the nitrates derogation last March, no mention was made of the conditions attached to it. These conditions, namely the terms of the two year review, will radically change farming in Ireland.

The terms are that by end of June 2023, the Irish authorities must submit a report detailing the trends in nitrate concentrations of groundwater and surface waters and the trophic status of surface water bodies.