The establishment of a specific taskforce to safeguard the nitrates derogation at its current levels has been recommended by the Fine Gael agricultural forum.

The Irish Farmers Journal understands the report from Fine Gael’s national agricultural, food and rural development forum will suggest the formation of the taskforce, with the aim of retaining the current 250kg and 220kg N/ha derogation limits.

“This will require commitment, action and partnership from Government, State agencies, local authorities, industry and farm organisations,” the report said.

A further recommendation from the report outlines that 70% grant aid for additional slurry storage should be made available to farmers.

This was suggested alongside other mechanisms to improve water quality, such as dedicated catchment programmes and increased farm advisory.

There are a number of other recommendations made in the report, including restructuring schemes under CAP into a single system.

It has called for one “overarching scheme that allows farmers of any farm type to select actions that best suit their farm”.