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Breach of Nitrates Regulation

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  • 13-03-2023 6:51pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 13


    Hi, Just back home to Fathers place last weekend, an elder gentleman who wouldn't be up to date with regulation and letters from Department. Hands up i should be more involved but working away from Ireland last few years.

    But Question is if he breaks the 170kg limit a hectare for 3 years in a row does he infact lose all direct payment grants? He's currently up in 195kg a hectare last year. I will work out what he has to get rid of this year but obviously he's significantly over, he doesn't mind losing the 15% as he did last year again and getting under next year. Has anyone known of getting an extension to bring it down over 4 years. or the 170kg is a hard limit that must be under by year 3. Potential Grant losses is €8k so that's significant that he will reduce but deep down he rather step it down ultimately based on ages cows. I will call department but more wanted to check here on any advice before calling.

    PS: I know its only a fools man game what he at being so much overstocked.

    Thanks



Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 423 ✭✭zetor 4911


    My understanding is that if the penalty was 15% last year then it would be triple that the following year if the 170 is exceeded and so on. As well as that if the 170 was exceeded 3 years in a row the Department can view that as intent with a more severe penalty imposed. It is a complex penalty system not saying I have a full understanding of it's working but I am fairly sure of what I have said above.



  • Registered Users Posts: 19,177 ✭✭✭✭Donald Trump


    Export to bring it back under.



  • Registered Users Posts: 49 1848


    Why not just reduce stock numbers - very hard to justify over 170/ha in dry stock situation.



  • Registered Users Posts: 9,231 ✭✭✭tanko


    Can he not get a derogation?



  • Registered Users Posts: 18,249 ✭✭✭✭Bass Reeves


    Plus one he should be getting a derogation. Talk to a Teagasc advisor or a consultant

    Slava Ukrainii



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  • Registered Users Posts: 13 youngfarmer93


    when you say export is this exporting the slurry to another farm?



  • Registered Users Posts: 13 youngfarmer93


    its sucklers and sheep he has, albeit not a big farm. Reason he doesn't want to get under 170kg/ha this year as everything in lambed or calving this month. Thats why he rather wait till calves are weanling next year to sell. but I know that will likely make no difference to department.



  • Registered Users Posts: 423 ✭✭zetor 4911


    It is very unusual for a drystock farmer to have a nitrates problem it is usually dairy farmers. Wonder is he declaring all the land he is farming on his BPS application or is he farming additional lands which he is not declaring.



  • Registered Users Posts: 19,177 ✭✭✭✭Donald Trump



    Yes. You export and get another farmer to "sign" for the imports. It used to be done on paper but now has to be done through the system. It would be alleged that some lads would get their buddies to sign the import forms without any being actually exported but that would be illegal. If you have a Teagasc man, they'd do the calculation and the online stuff for you if you can't figure it out.

    Derogation would be a pain in the hole and additional expense. And it is also always dependent on the country as a whole getting the derogation from the EU.

    You will have some of the requirements that were formally under derogation now once you are over 170kg before exporting, but not them all.



  • Registered Users Posts: 18,249 ✭✭✭✭Bass Reeves


    Exporting slurry will cost him much more than a derogation. The derogation is his answer. At a guess because of the new export rates introduced last year at a guess( I may be incorrect) he needs to export 3-3500 gallon/ HA.

    The P&K value is 20-30 euro/1k gallons. He needs to get a derogation and that will be messy as well. He will need to soil test and if cattle are out avoid new dung area as well as old dung pads. He will beef fertilizer and ration rectors for last year and maybe ration record for the year before

    IMO exporting slurry is not the answer for this farm

    Slava Ukrainii



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  • Registered Users Posts: 19,177 ✭✭✭✭Donald Trump



    Lets be honest though. There are plenty of people exporting on paper only. Or signing for more than they actually get



  • Registered Users Posts: 18,249 ✭✭✭✭Bass Reeves


    At a rate of 195kgN/ HA your father is stocked at about 2 suckler cows and a ewe/ HA plus bull and rams on top of that and a few cull cows.

    He probably has a fairly significant ration and ferlizer bill. If it was me I would git rid of some of the stock anyway. His biggest problem is he has to reduce his nitrates limit in nine months for a 13 month recording period. He is looking at a 15% reduction in ewes and cows by end of April to be under the 170..... And he still may need to export a small amount of slurry at year end

    Slava Ukrainii



  • Registered Users Posts: 18,249 ✭✭✭✭Bass Reeves


    Most were paying for it. OP father cannot afford to make a mistake. The conquences are too serious. This is similar to lads in BEAM two years ago and there unwillingness to take corrective action early enough.

    On a 100 acres farm 40HA he needs to export 140k gallons( my figures may be wrong) of slurry even on paper that is a significant task.

    Has he slurry storage in place to allow for the level.of exports suggested. I suspect that OP father either is a very efficient/ intensive farmer or has land taken he has no maps for.

    If he has it would make more sense to B&B some of the stock. However he has to be aware that cows need to be in the B&B arrangement before calving.

    It's quite possible having twice exceeded the nitrates level he will get a farm visit this year.

    He should get a derogation and the time limit for that is running out now aswell

    Slava Ukrainii



  • Registered Users Posts: 423 ✭✭zetor 4911


    Another issue here is as he is stocked at over 170 he need slurry and Farmyard manure storage for all stock on the farm over the winter housing period regardless if they are outwintered or not. Breaching the nitrates is one issue but not having the statutory waste storage facilities is another. He need to get advice from advisor.



  • Registered Users Posts: 19,177 ✭✭✭✭Donald Trump



    He's in trouble either way if he doesn't have the storage and gets inspected.

    He'd need to export just under 2,300 gallons per ha to bring his rate from 195 to 170. That would be 93k gallons for 100 acres. Still a lot. Rate allowed is 2.4kg per m^3

    From the Statutory Instrument itself. SI 113/2022


    If he has land taken and no maps, he'd want to be making sure that the owner of that land is "importing" the allowance that would go with it. If someone is renting out land they probably aren't actively farming anyway. They're likely just keeping the maps to claim the subs.



  • Registered Users Posts: 13 youngfarmer93


    Thanks all, I know the end goal is to reduce significantly. TBH its only a small farm with about 10.5 ha. Cows wise its 14 cows give or take 1 or two in any given year. then weanlings, then he keeps prior year cattle till 2 or just over 2. Sheep wise its 50 sheep again give or take 10 depending on year. So he's taken on board we get rid of all the 2 year old cattle next month, and probably half the weanlings. That should see us getting alot closer. He doesn't want to get rid of the cows or ewes as they either lambed or calved already or in next month. ideally he like to wait their atleast weanling next year.

    Like next year if he culled 4/5 cows i think with their calves not being weanlings/2 year old we be grand to keep the rest. Slurry wise he's actually ok over the year no tighter than any other farmer. Silage/Hay wise yes he would buy in 50 bales easy each year. I know he's not making money with those type of expenses but he loves at this stage.

    Thanks all for advice, was good to bounce potential idea but i do think dramatic decrease of stock is best option. Just hope he gets under intime, i have a feeling we get close but just over.



  • Registered Users Posts: 8,828 ✭✭✭893bet




  • Registered Users Posts: 18,249 ✭✭✭✭Bass Reeves


    at a quick calculationif you have 50 ewes (lowland), a ram 14 sucklers there calves and a bull you are hitting 160kg/ha in a full year. He probable needs to get rid of all the yearlings. My calculation is even with all the yearlings gone he will be above 170kg/ha if he has 14 cows there calves and 50 ewes. On the ewes I think its a self declaration that decides your numbers I presume from lasy years census

    Just another thing came to me now. Even if exporting slurry you have to be in a derogation plan this year. Exporting slurry will no longer keep you away from that requirement.

    Slava Ukrainii



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