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Articles in Category: Dairy

Nitrates Derogation Applications 2020

on Tuesday, 18 February 2020. Posted in Schemes, Tillage, Dairy, Beef

The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, today announced that applications for the 2020 Nitrates Derogation can now be submitted to the Department using the on-line portal, .

Over 6,800 intensively stocked farmers availed of the derogation in 2019.

The 2020 Nitrates Derogation Terms & Conditions include the full list of recommendations put forward by the Expert Review Group who proposed additional conditions for those farming in derogation that support the multiple objectives of a competitive agriculture sector whilst minimising negative impacts on water quality. This review was carried out jointly in 2019 by experts from the Department of Agriculture, Food & the Marine, the Department of Housing Planning & Local Government, Teagasc and the EPA and proposed recommendations that were accepted by both Ministers.  The Nitrates Derogation is contingent on meeting water quality standards, and these additional measures, included now in the requirements of the 2020 scheme are designed to provide added protections to water quality. 

Applications must be submitted using the online system which is aimed at simplifying the application process and assisting farmers to avoid penalties. Farmers can also remain compliant with the Regulations by managing their livestock to farm below the limits, exporting enough slurry/farmyard manure or renting additional land but these farmers are also subject to additional requirements this year.

Over 6,800 farmers availed of the derogation in 2019.


on Monday, 10 February 2020. Posted in Tillage, Dairy, Beef

Precautions you must take when you are applying fertilisers (Organic and chemical)

In order to prevent waters from being polluted by nitrogen and phosphorus, the Regulations say that you must do the following

  • You must spread livestock manure and other organic fertilisers, effluents and soiled water as accurately and as evenly as you can.
  • You must not use an upward-facing splash plate or sludge irrigator on a tanker or umbilical system for spreading organic fertiliser or soiled water.
  • You must not spread organic fertilisers or soiled water from a road or passageway, even if the road or passageway is on your own holding.
  • You must not spread chemical fertilisers, livestock manure, soiled water or other organic fertilisers when: -
  1. The land is waterlogged; -
  2. The land is flooded, or it is likely to flood; -
  3. The land is frozen, or covered with snow; -
  4. Heavy rain is forecast within 48 hours (you must check the forecasts from Met Éireann).

Minister Creed announces new Financial Support Scheme for Calf Rearing

on Tuesday, 07 January 2020. Posted in Schemes, Dairy, Beef

The Minister of Agriculture, Food & the Marine, Mr Michael Creed TD, has announced a new Financial Support Scheme for Calf Rearing.

Minister Creed said, “this initiative is one of a series of measures being put in place by stakeholders in advance of the Spring calving season with a view to ensuring the highest possible calf welfare outcomes”.

The Minister confirmed that he was making €1.5 million available in order to fund the scheme.

The primary investment focus in on supporting calf feeding systems such as computerised calf feeders, milk carts with mixer included and calf teat feeders. When a farmer purchases one of these items, they will also be eligible to receive support for the purchase of other items, such as calf milk heaters, calf forage/hay racks, calf meal troughs, calf feed barriers and calf pen dividers.

The Minister said that the minimum investment required is €1,000 ex. VAT, while the maximum investment being proposed will be €7,500 ex. VAT. A 40% grant aid will apply to applications meeting all the terms and conditions of the scheme. (In the event of over-subscription this figure may be reduced). Minister Creed confirmed that applications will open on 7th January 2020. Terms and conditions and the relevant specifications will be available on the DAFM website.

Continuation of DAFM Supports Towards BVD Eradication - Creed

on Monday, 23 December 2019. Posted in Schemes, Dairy, Beef

The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed T.D., today confirmed the continuation of the supports from his Department for the early removal of PI (persistently infected) calves under the national Bovine Viral Disease (BVD) Eradicatio

Minister Creed expressed his satisfaction with the ongoing progress being made in the eradication of BVD.  The Minister noted that substantial savings were being achieved by farmers, with the incidence of PIs reducing in 2019 to just 0.04% from 0.66% in 2013 – the first year of the compulsory phase of the Eradication Programme.

He said “the DAFM supports were helping the eradication effort and will be further enhanced by the proposed amendment to the existing regulations coming into effect in early 2020 whereby it will now be a legal requirement for all animals born on or before 1 January 2013 to have a known BVD 

Doyle announces 2019 payment of advance payments for Organic Farming Scheme

on Tuesday, 10 December 2019. Posted in Schemes, Sheep, Dairy, Beef

Payments for farmers in the Organic Farming Scheme have commenced.

. Payments to the value of approximately €6.1 million have already been made to almost 1,300 farmers, commencing at the end of November. Payments will continue to be made to farmers between now and the end of the year.  

The Minister commented “I am delighted to announce that advance payments commenced ahead of schedule and earlier than last year. The Organic Farming Scheme is one of our most successful schemes under our current Rural Development Programme and it has more than achieved its targets in terms of land converted and maintained for organics.”

The payments to farmers under this scheme mean that since September, DAFM has paid out a total of €1.55 Billion in direct payment to farmers.

Liver Fluke Forecast November 2019

on Monday, 02 December 2019. Posted in Sheep, Dairy, Beef

Each year, the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) in collaboration with Met Éireann advises farmers of the predicted risk of disease caused by liver fluke (Fasciola hepatica) infection in livestock. This forecast is based on meteorologi

The Regional Veterinary Laboratory (RVL) Liver Fluke Abattoir ELISA Survey

Blood samples collected by DAFM staff from a selection of lambs born in 2019 (928 flocks) across 25 counties were tested for the presence of antibodies to liver fluke by the DAFM Laboratory Service to determine the level of exposure of lambs in these flocks. Data from this survey indicates that the majority of infected flocks are from counties on the western seaboard. A particularly large number of positive results were reported from flocks located in Mayo and Donegal. In these counties, exposure to liver fluke was detected in June, while animals in the southwest were apparently not exposed before August. By October, there was evidence of fluke exposure in lambs from the midlands and large parts of Leinster. Please see for further details and maps of test results.

Over 75% of applications rejected in Organic Farming Scheme

on Monday, 18 November 2019. Posted in Schemes, Tillage, Sheep, Dairy, Beef

The chairman of the Irish Farmers’ Association’s (IFA’s) Organics Project Team, Nigel Renaghan, is seeking an urgent meeting following the rejection of “over 75%” of applications under the re-opened Organic Farming Scheme (OFS).

Renaghan is seeking a meeting with the Minister of State for Food, Forestry and Horticulture, Andrew Doyle, to address the issue.

The IFA’s organics chairman said: “This is despite these farmers having full organic registration.

The minister has overseen a flawed process with less than a quarter of applicants accepted into the scheme at a time when we are being lectured about the need for farmers to diversify.

“Only 55 applicants out of 225 that applied in November 2018 were eventually accepted into the scheme, despite meeting the obligations of the scheme since they committed to applying.

“These farmers have been contacted advising them that their application was not successful.

N & P Statements to 31 August 2019 now available

on Tuesday, 22 October 2019. Posted in Schemes, Dairy, Beef

The Department of Agriculture, Food & the Marine has announced that interim Nitrogen and Phosphorus (N&P) Statements for the period January to August 2019 are now available on the Department’s online system

These statements are particularly useful as they allow farmers to plan for the remainder of the year, in order to ensure compliance with the limits of the Nitrates Regulations, thus avoiding penalties for breaching the limit of 170 kgs of Nitrogen per hectare or the 250 kgs of Nitrogen per hectare limit for those who hold an approved derogation.  

Farmers are also reminded that all Nitrate Records Forms for 2019 must be submitted to Nitrates Section before 31 December 2019.

Farmers not already registered for can do so by logging onto and clicking the 'Register' button. To register a mobile phone number for future SMS text alerts, log on to to access the sign-on form.

Minister Creed Announces Commencement of €20m Payments for Year 3 of the Knowledge Transfer Programme

on Monday, 07 October 2019. Posted in Schemes, Sheep, Dairy, Beef

Knowledge Transfer Programme

The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed TD, today announced that payments in respect of Year 3 of the Knowledge Transfer Programme have commenced.

The Minister commented “I can confirm that the payments in relation to Year 3 of the Knowledge Transfer Programme have now commenced.  I am pleased to note that these payments are commencing a month earlier than in previous years.”

The Minister added “over the three year lifetime of this programme it has played a central role in helping farmers develop the skills and knowledge which will help them to address sustainability, productivity and competitiveness challenges.  This Programme has also been shown to have significant social benefits for the farming community in addition to providing important financial support.”

Given the structure of the Programme, payments are now rolling out on a sector by sector basis over the coming weeks. Payments for farmers in Equine and Poultry Knowledge Transfer Groups have now issued. Payments for Dairy, Beef, Sheep and Tillage will issue shortly.


on Tuesday, 01 October 2019. Posted in Products, Schemes, Dairy

Dependable Supply of Renewable Electricity

Demand for Solar Photovoltaic (PV) systems has spiked in the last few years as concerns around climate change grow and customers seek reliable, affordable solutions to help offset ever-rising energy costs.

TC Renewables Ltd said this, the experts in wind and solar PV power solutions for households, businesses and farms.

Solar PV systems are today a reliable and cost-effective solution for generating renewable electricity, with surplus energy stored in batteries for later use or directed towards heating water.

Dependable Supply of Renewable Electricity

Solar PV is a well-proven technology that converts sunlight into electricity.  Made of tempered glass these systems last for up to 30 years and can withstand extreme weather conditions.

Incredibly durable, solar PV systems are very reliable with very predictable generation over the year and, with no moving parts, there are little maintenance costs.

With attractive government grants and tax write offs available to encourage installation, and finance offered by professional companies like TC renewables, solar PV solutions are affordable and one of the best investments to improve sustainability and reduce exposure to ever rising energy bills.

Creed launches an Open Call for submissions on the CAP Strategic Plan – SWOT analysis

on Tuesday, 10 September 2019. Posted in Schemes, Courses, Tillage, Sheep, Dairy, Beef

Following on from the latest meeting of the CAP Stakeholder Consultative Committee, The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed T.D., has announced his intention to launch an open call for submissions on the CAP Strategic Plan – SWOT

The open call for submissions is part of the CAP post 2020 consultation process, under which each Member State is required to conduct a Strength, Weakness, Opportunity and Threat analysis (SWOT) of the geographic area covered by the CAP Strategic Plan, and to engage with civil society and stakeholders to ensure the SWOT is fully reflective of the situation.

Minister Creed announces opening date for €100 million Beef Exceptional Aid Measure

on Monday, 19 August 2019. Posted in Schemes, Dairy, Beef

The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed T.D. today announced that the Beef Exceptional Aid Measure (BEAM) will open for applications from Monday 19th August; BEAM will open for applications from 19th August to 8th September inclu

The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed T.D. today announced that the Beef Exceptional Aid Measure (BEAM) will open for applications from Monday 19th August;

BEAM will open for applications from 19th August to 8th September inclusive. Applications will be accepted online through

Creed announces detail of new €100 million Beef Exceptional Aid Measure (BEAM)

on Tuesday, 06 August 2019. Posted in Schemes, Dairy, Beef

The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed T.D., today (Monday) announced details of the Beef Exceptional Aid Measure (BEAM).

This measure will be funded by a combination of EU exceptional aid and Exchequer support, provided in light of the difficult circumstances that Irish beef farmers have been facing as a result of market volatility and uncertainty arising out of Brexit.

The Minister acknowledged, “I am keenly aware that the past few months have been very difficult for beef farmers. There has been a prolonged and exceptional period of depressed prices since last autumn, with the ongoing uncertainty surrounding the outcome of Brexit, among other factors, contributing to this market disturbance.”

“The availability of this EU and Exchequer support, together with the Beef Environmental Efficiency Pilot (BEEP) introduced earlier this year, provides an injection of up to €120m in aid for the beef sector in 2019.”

BEAM will provide financial aid to Irish beef farmers and is targeted towards those farmers most affected. BEAM is also designed to meet the requirements set out by the Commission, including granting support to farmers engaging in actions, which enhance their long-term resilience and sustainability.

BEAM is a demand-led, voluntary scheme. Farmers who meet the initial eligibility criteria will then have to commit to meeting the following conditions in order to qualify for aid. Each participant must:

  • be a member of a Bord Bia Quality Assurance Scheme or a DAFM environmental scheme; and
  • reduce the production of bovine livestock manure nitrogen (total figure) per herd by 5% for a target period (1 July 2020 - 30 June 2021) compared to a reference period (1 July 2018 – 30 June 2019).


on Monday, 29 July 2019. Posted in Schemes, Tillage, Sheep, Dairy, Beef


The Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government launched a register of water abstractions in accordance with the European Union (Water Policy) (Abstractions Registration) Regulations 2018 (S.I. No. 261 of 2018) in August 2018. People who abstract 25 cubic meters (25,000 litres) of water or more per day are required to register their water abstraction with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The official deadline for registration passed on 16 November 2018 and the EPA estimates that about 10 to 15% of abstractions of 25 or more cubic meters per day have been registered to date from the farming sector.  

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