The movement of organic manures from farms to newly leased land or tillage land currently does not require regulation, according to the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue.
This clarification came following a question the minister faced in the Dáil last week (October 17) from Deputy Holly Cairns, who asked how it is intended to regulate the movement of organic manures from grazing platforms on dairy farms to newly rented land or tillage land.
Minister McConalogue said: “The European Union Good Agricultural Practice for Protection of Waters (GAP) Regulations (SI 113 of 2022, as amended) do not currently have a provision which specifically requires regulation of the movement of organic manures from grazing platforms on dairy farms to newly rented land or tillage land.
“However, the export of livestock manures from holdings in the state is regulated by the GAP regulations and facilitated and managed by my department’s online manure exports system,” the minister said.
Minister McConalogue said the farmers that export livestock manure “must submit online records” to the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM), which are then verified online by the importer.
“An interim review of the 5th Nitrates Action Program (NAP) is currently being undertaken, led by the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage,” the minister added.
“They are the lead government department responsible for the NAP and the associated GAP regulations.
“My department works closely with them in this regard, including by providing responsibility for implementation and operation of Ireland’s Nitrates Derogation,” Minister McConalogue said.
When the European Commission granted Ireland’s Nitrates Derogation for 2022-2025, a requirement was included for Ireland to conduct a two-year review of water quality this year.
Minister McConalogue announced last week that there will be a “number of measures to further protect water quality” being considered as part of the current interim review of the NAP.
These suggested measures, and their practical implementation, will be discussed shortly by the Agriculture Water Quality Working Group before being brought to full public consultation.
The working group includes representatives of farm organizations, the agri-food industry, Teagasc, private agricultural consultants, local authorities, An Fóram Uisce, and officials from the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage, along with DAFM.
“When the interim review concludes the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage will bring forward any necessary regulatory changes,” Minister McConalogue added.