Nitrates directive 'could see dairy and drystock production levels drop'

IRELAND - A cut in farm production levels as a result of the European Union nitrates directive would have severe implications for the Irish agri-food industry and rural areas, it was claimed yesterday.

The Agricultural Science Association (ASA), which represents graduates in the agri food sector, warned the directive could drive some farmers out of business.

It said leading commercial dairy and drystock sectors will be forced to reduce the amount of chemical fertiliser they apply, with a consequent drop in production levels.

President James Fitzgerald said the directive, which comes into effect on February 1, flies in the face of the Government's policy on a competitive agri-food industry and contains more stringent provisions than in other EU states.

"The limitations the directive imposes on nitrogen and phosphorus levels mean up to 30% of pig producers are at grave risk of being put out of business with consequent devastating impact on cereals and compound feed production," he said.

Source: Irish Examiner
calendar icon 23 January 2006
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