Farm leaders concerned by nitrates plan
“The proposal to restrict livestock access to waters, and require water-flow management on farm roadways will add further costs for farmers which will directly impact on the competitiveness of the sector,” he maintained.
While Mr Cooney welcomed the increased phosphorous allowances for soils with P indices 1 and 2, he expressed concern regarding the obligations which linked addressing soil fertility to the Knowledge Transfer programme.
“The Knowledge Transfer (KT) programme has simply become too complex. Therefore, the recommendations of the expert group to link addressing the soil fertility issue with KT will add further complexity and may lead to the measure not being taken up,” he said.
ICMSA’s Pat Rohan said that farmers would have very serious reservations about the thrust and the specifics of the report.
“We’ ll be looking at this in advance of a scheduled meeting with the Department of Agriculture, but it’s already obvious that issues around roadways, access to water courses, changes to soil testing and the interaction with the Knowledge Transfer schemes will all require serious amendment if the plan is to move forward with any support,” Mr Rohan said.