Penalties leave local farmers reeling

One in four Longford farmers were hit with nitrate penalties last year, new figures obtained by the Leader show.

One in four Longford farmers were hit with nitrate penalties last year, new figures obtained by the Leader show.

Twenty four per cent of farms received fines while a further sixteen per cent were punished following inspections that were carried out on cattle farms.

The figures, released to the Leader by Independent TD Denis Naughten, also reveal 18 per cent of farmers got penalties under Good Agricultural and Environmental Condition (GAEC) inspections.

Despite the penalties handed down, Longford farms faired reasonably well when compared to many neighbouring counties.

In Cavan, 32 per cent of farmers accrued penalties under nitrates with Cattle and GAEC check-ups recording 17 and 11 per cent penalty rates respectively.

Thirty per cent of farms in Leitrim were given penalties under nitrates while 23 per cent of farms received penalties under the same criteria in Co Roscommon last year.

Westmeath farms, however, came top with 51 per cent receiving penalties.