ULSTER Farmers’ Union president Harry Sinclair reminds farmers that the deadline for applying for nitrates derogation for 2013 is 1 March 2013.
The derogation allows farmers to operate at a higher stocking rate and apply up to maximum of 250kg livestock manure nitrogen per hectare per year instead of the mandatory 170kg livestock manure N/ha/year.
If derogation was obtained in 2012, derogation fertilisation accounts for 2012 must also be submitted to the Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA) by 1 March 2013. Any farmer submitting a Fertilisation Account should complete this accurately and ensure that the detail put forward meets the criteria set for the derogation to avoid any breaches which could result in a Single Farm Payment penalty.
The UFU would advise farmers to ensure that application forms and fertilisation accounts are completed in full and that the information is carefully checked. Those who choose to post the information to NIEA are advised to use recorded or special delivery. We would also advise farmers to keep a copy of the information sent in.
Derogation application forms are available from NIEA Water Management Unit (028 9262 3189) or from the NIEA website http://www.doeni.gov.uk/niea/. Applications and Fertilisation accounts should be sent directly to: Northern Ireland Environment Agency, Water Management Unit, Agricultural Regulation Team, 17 Antrim Road, Lisburn, BT28 3AL.
Late applications cannot be accepted. Therefore, it is vital that farmers in this position pay close attention to these deadlines as the UFU do not want to see farmers penalised for failing to submit the necessary paperwork.