The Chairman of the ICMSA’s Farm Services and Environment Committee, Mr. Patrick Rohan, has welcomed the announcement by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine that they have revised the Nitrates penalty applied to those farmers with an approved derogation who exceed the stocking limits set down in their derogation of 250Kgs N/Ha/yr but are less than or equal to 300 Kgs N/Ha/yr.
Mr. Rohan stated that ICMSA had sought this review of penalties applied to derogation farmers and he noted that the association is very satisfied with confirmation by the Department of a 10% reduction in the penalty on payments to farmers who exceed the stocking limits set down in their derogation of 250Kgs N/Ha/yr but are less than or equal to 300 Kgs N/Ha/yr.
He stated that farmers that were slightly in breach of the regulations were previously subjected to a 15% penalty on their scheme payments but that this will now be reduced to 5% for 2011 onwards.
However, the Farm Services Chairman stated that it is important to note that all other categories of penalties remain the same as does the application of repetition penalties in respect of repeated breaches
Mr. Rohan concluded by stating that for herds planning expansion it is essential that farmers check their position and make arrangements to avoid penalties.
This may involve applying for a derogation which can still be applied for on-line up to 14 April 2013 or some alternative arrangement such as exporting slurry.