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  1. #1
    barrym barrym is offline

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    The nitrates directive - we want out....

    From todays Irish Times:-
    "Farmers hope for relief from nitrates directive

    TDs and Senators will today examine the case for relaxing new anti-pollution controls on farmers, which have already sparked angry protests.
    ...
    The Environmental Protection Agency confirms that there is widespread bacteriological contamination of groundwater and drinking water supplies from livestock manure. Some 20 per cent of groundwater has nitrate concentrations above EU directive levels, the EPA reports, while 27 per cent of rivers are affected by eutrophication (excessive richness of nutrients).
    ....
    So, the signing of the directive into law and the production of an action plan to implement it were vital, not just to protect the quality of Ireland's groundwater, but also to show the EU that we are serious about it.
    The action plan, which finally came into force last week, includes rules on the collection and storage of manure. There are mandatory storage periods in different parts of the country from 16 weeks to 22 weeks. Spreading fertiliser is to be banned in most of the winter months, and pig and poultry farms that do not have sufficient land on which to spread slurry must store it for 26 weeks.
    Chemical fertilisers cannot be applied on land close to a surface watercourse. Organic fertiliser or soiled water cannot be applied within 200 metres of areas where water is being extracted for human consumption. All of this imposes costs and inconvenience on farmers. Farm organisations say implementing some of it would be just impossible.
    The Government is now examining two possible ways of responding to farmer concerns. In relation to maximum phosphate levels, it won a temporary reprieve from the EU, allowing it defer the implementation of these limits for several weeks.
    ...
    ... the Government is to seek a derogation from Brussels on the limits set to the spreading of livestock manure on farm land. The current limit is 170kg per hectare per year - equivalent to manure from around 2.5 cattle per hectare.
    The Government's proposal is to increase this to 250kg - allowing for around three cattle per hectare, a change particularly important to intensive dairy farmers.
    The Department of Agriculture is also introducing grant aid for farmers to improve their slurry storage capacity, to help them comply with the regulations which prevent slurry spreading in particular periods"


    I have to ask - why - since the Directive has been around for n years and we knew we would have to implement it some day, are we still scrambling to get derogations, delays, etc? and WHY are there grants being paid....??
    I also have to ask - will it be policed.....? if so how? non payment of grants?

    Bye, Barry
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  2. #2
    CrockerJarman CrockerJarman is offline

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    Prime Time was right good viewing last night.

    Cock Roche was live from Dubai, Padraig Walsh and the head buck from Teagasc/Moorepark were in the studio.

    The Teagasc guy hung Roche out to dry, and said that Teagasc's interpretation of Roche's proposed implementation of the Directive was that it was going to "jepordise the viability of commercial dairying in Ireland".

    Yep, a billion-euro industry's viability on the line accrording to the science director of the sector's State Advisory Agency.

    Mr Teagasc said that they had made this view clear to Roche. Roche basically accused his own advisor of telling lies, and then waffled some raimheis about not having his papers in front of him.

    Mary Coughlan was nowhere to be seen.
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  3. #3
    meriwether meriwether is offline

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    We'll spread our ************************e how we bloody well please!!
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  4. #4
    david david is offline

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    When I saw the thread's title, I thought, "Who's this 'we'?"

    These directives are there for sound reasons. Quality, controllability, accountability if nothing else.

    And it's not as if they haven't had time to prepare or if they haven't had time to try to influence the regulations.

    So, on January 28th, 29th, 30th and 31st this year, more slurry was spread in my area than during any similar period I can recall. There's also a pig farm nearby and that was the worst ever.

    But let's face it, who actually trusts a farmer anyway?

    So no, Barry, I doubt if it will be policed. Instead, you or I - people who have to suffer the consequences of their laziness - will see slurry spread near watercourses at all times of the year and in unknown quantities. When we complain, we're told we don't know anything about farming or worse.

    Then these so-called 'farmers' (we need a new description of them) want to sell sites at ridiculously inflated prices and then they want to pollute the water extracted for the houses subsequently built there.
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  5. #5
    meriwether meriwether is offline

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    Quote Originally Posted by david
    When I saw the thread's title, I thought, "Who's this 'we'?"

    These directives are there for sound reasons. Quality, controllability, accountability if nothing else.

    And it's not as if they haven't had time to prepare or if they haven't had time to try to influence the regulations.

    So, on January 28th, 29th, 30th and 31st this year, more slurry was spread in my area than during any similar period I can recall. There's also a pig farm nearby and that was the worst ever.

    But let's face it, who actually trusts a farmer anyway?

    So no, Barry, I doubt if it will be policed. Instead, you or I - people who have to suffer the consequences of their laziness - will see slurry spread near watercourses at all times of the year and in unknown quantities. When we complain, we're told we don't know anything about farming or worse.

    Then these so-called 'farmers' (we need a new description of them) want to sell sites at ridiculously inflated prices and then they want to pollute the water extracted for the houses subsequently built there.
    Are you the guy who thought foxes shouldn't be hunted because they weren't a threat to livestock if farms were fenced properly?
    Whats the point about the last few days of January? Was this slurry spread in sources of water, or did it just smell a bit too bad for you?
    And you're quite correct about the site-selling. I just dont understand what relevance it has to..anything. Unless a secret cabal of farmers has been set up, who are intent on subverting the property market, then polluting the place afterwards, and they have been active in lobbying the EU about this directive.
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  6. #6
    jdwex jdwex is offline

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    Quote Originally Posted by david
    So, on January 28th, 29th, 30th and 31st this year, more slurry was spread in my area than during any similar period I can recall. There's also a pig farm nearby and that was the worst ever.

    But let's face it, who actually trusts a farmer anyway?

    .
    I guess it was spread those days because of the dry weaher? Are you complaining about the smell?. You can't move to the countryside and expect to avoid the smells, tractors etc, etc
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  7. #7
    woodie woodie is offline

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    There are very sound environmental and public health reasons for this legislation. It was adopted back in 1991 and has been implemented in almost every other EU country. Why should Ireland be any different? Should a small number of Irish citizens be able to continue over-fertilizing their land, polluting drinking water and damaging rivers and lakes? No.
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  8. #8
    jdwex jdwex is offline

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    The 170kg limit is a blanket limit across the EC..

    Here is something from a Dutch document..

    If only nitrogen were used as a criterion to limit manure applications, very high amounts could be allowed. On grassland on different soil types (sand, clay and peat), amounts well above 300 kg N per ha could be applied as manure. On maize, manure levels should stay below 225 to 315 kg N per ha in order not to exceed nitrogen limits.
    When phosphate (balance fertilization) is added as a criterion, manure levels have to be substantially lower. On grass, a manure level of 265 to 340 kg N per ha can be allowed and on maize 170 to 200 kg N per ha.
    Suboptimal circumstances result in lower yield levels and thus in lower phosphate uptake. To prevent phosphate accumulation, phosphate fertilization and therefore manure application have to be reduced. However, nitrogen goals are not threatened.
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  9. #9
    barrym barrym is offline

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    Quote Originally Posted by jdwex
    The 170kg limit is a blanket limit across the EC..

    Here is something from a Dutch document..
    Thanks for that, but could you elaborate a bit - I'm a chemist by original training but I have to admit I don't quite understand the NL argument - are they saying N is good if it isn't in manure??

    On the other comments to my original post -

    1. I expected the diatribes between farmer/non-farmers
    2. We are no longer an exclusively rural/farming country - if we ever were
    3. I have pointed out in other posts that we should and could become more 'green' to improve the added value to our food output. We could easily have gone that road when the Directive was agreed (BTW, we agreed to it... presumably after a lot of dilution and political fudgery) Less intensive would payback medium to long term, however, procrastination is the name of the game and intensive is the result.
    4. I didn't see Prime T but I am not surprised that the techy ate the pol; the situation is so bad the pol cannot win, papers or not, he and his predecessors are the procrastinators; the water quality issue is paramount.
    5. I live in the country; it depends how much/how bad the smell gets; you don't have to accept it if it is getting worse.... the derogation sought will ensure that it doesn't get better....

    Bye, Barry
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  10. #10
    jdwex jdwex is offline

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    Quote Originally Posted by barrym
    Quote Originally Posted by jdwex
    The 170kg limit is a blanket limit across the EC..

    Here is something from a Dutch document..
    Thanks for that, but could you elaborate a bit - I'm a chemist by original training but I have to admit I don't quite understand the NL argument - are they saying N is good if it isn't in manure??


    Bye, Barry
    Essentially grassland can absorb higher amounts of nitrogen than the blanket limit. I'm not a farmer, but I believe nitrogen inputs have a fairly immediate effect on grass output. Then of course there is the dary stocking levels..
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