Farmer hopes for a reprieve from a planned cut in nitrates derogation stocking rates rest in the hands of An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar this Thursday.

An Taoiseach and Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue will meet European Commissioner for the Environment Virginijus Sinkevicius on Thursday.

An Taoiseach told the Irish Farmers Journal he is “very keen” to explore any flexibilities around the derogation with the Commissioner.

“Priority one is trying to influence him to hang on to the [nitrates derogation] and then seeing if we can get any flexibility around the move down from 250[kg/ha] to 220,” he said.

The Commissioner is expected to meet Department, Teagasc and farm organisation representatives.