Farmers have one week left to have their say on the nitrates action programme (NAP), which will see new rules for slurry, fertiliser and soiled water.

Ireland’s NAP gives effect to the requirements of the nitrates directive in Ireland and is a critical piece of legislation implemented by farmers on their farms.

The measures in the plan include maximum fertiliser rates, manure storage requirements, periods when manures and soiled water cannot be spread, a chemical fertiliser register. Read more about the measures here.

The closing date for farmers' responses is 26 January 2022 and the consultation paper can be downloaded from the Department of Housing and Department of Agriculture websites.


The vote to finalise the NAP is scheduled to take place in March 2022 and if a successful vote is secured, the derogation will be incorporated into the action programme.

This derogation ultimately allows more intensive farmers to operate at a higher stocking rate, but they must adhere to stricter rules.

Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue said: “My ambitions are to protect and enhance our water quality and biodiversity while ensuring we continue to produce top-quality food.

"Securing the derogation is a key priority and that we meet these multiple ambitions.

"Once the NAP is finalised, the overall package will assist Ireland’s agri-food sector in working towards its targets under Food Vision 2030, in a sustainable manner.”

A review of the fourth NAP 2017-2021 was undertaken since September 2020. This involved two periods of public consultation and in the region of 700 submissions.