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17/09/2021

Farmers to have their say - IFA to hold online meeting for farmers on nitrates programme

Many of the proposals, if agreed, would significantly damage family farm incomes - IFA Environment Chairman Paul O’Brien

Farmers to have their say - IFA to hold online meeting for farmers on  nitrates programme

The IFA is hosting an online farmer meeting to discuss the government’s Nitrates Action Programme.

The event will be hosted this coming Thursday, August 19, at 8pm. There will be brief presentations from IFA senior policy staff, Geraldine O’Sullivan and Aine O’Connell, followed by an open discussion where farmers can put forward their views.

Farmers wishing to join the meeting can register using https://www.ifa.ie/nregs/.

IFA Environment Chairman Paul O’Brien said there are over 20 proposals outlined in the draft nitrates consultation, yet farm income isn’t mentioned once. 

“Many of the proposals, if agreed, would significantly damage family farm incomes. IFA will be highlighting this in its submission. Farmers will do more to protect water quality on farms, but adequate supports need to be put in place to make this happen,” he said.

IFA Dairy Chairman Stephen Arthur said the soiled water proposal prohibiting the spread of soiled water for an eight-week period is far too onerous on dairy farmers, particularly farmers operating split calving systems. 

In December and January, it’s estimated that approximately 65 litres of water is used per cow per day to wash down the parlour. Placing an eight-week storage period on farms, compared to the existing requirement of 10-15 days, would require farmers to increase their soiled water capacity sixfold for a typical 100 cow herd. This is an added expense of €20,000-30,000 which DAFM expects farmers to incur within a 12-month period. This is simply unacceptable, he maintained.

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