Ann Moore - Midleton, Co Cork

Ann Moore - Midleton, Co Cork.

“We are a high farm - 500ft above sea level - so it’s a reasonably dry farm, apart from the weather we're getting at the minute.

"The nitrates derogation is not hugely going to affect the farm due to the fact we are at 225kg organic N/ha, but we are set up for 400 cows.

"We put in all the slurry facilities and everything to set up for 400, so it means we won’t be able to reach that target.

"We will have to knock back numbers rather than increasing them going forward. We spent an awful lot of money getting it set up and here we are getting knocked back again. The worry is they keep changing the targets."

Aileen Sheehan - Whitehall, Co Cork

Aileen Sheehan - Whitehall, Co Cork.

“We have nothing behind us - we are 100% leased. We bought 70 heifers to start off with and a local farmer was getting out of farming so we took over his farm.

"Now we have to build a tank on a leased farm, so we are not completely compliant.

"Even though it’s not going to impact any of our payments, it will impact his payments, so now we have to put in a tank and we have to fund it 100% ourselves or go down to 120 cows instead of 140 cows.

"The issue is because we're 100% leased, it's those 20 cows that’s our cream off the top or to be able to pay the farmer to stay there.

"At the moment to get started, we're both still working - I am a teacher and he’s in the army - it’s a lot of pressure.

"Due to the nitrates and all the compliance issues coming in, we have to put in this tank which takes more investment, which means we will have to work off farm for another year. It’s going to cost us, we can’t go in against this €500/ac.”

Gail Daniels - Kilmoganny, Co Kilkenny

Gail Daniels - Kilmoganny, Co Kilkenny.

“It is going to affect our farm, but we preempted it. We are involved in a lot of discussion groups and knew it was coming down the line. What we did was we reduced stock numbers already - we are going to take the lower performers out of the herd.

"With fertiliser and things, we have been increasing clover in order to get away from spreading as much. We have been paying attention, it’s only going to go one way so we streamlined the system.

"By taking out the lower performers, we are going to be sending the same kilos of milk with less cows, hopefully. It has been on the cards for a while.”

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