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Phase 2 Report Executive Summary

The overarching conclusion of the ACP’s work to date is that the implementation of the Nitrates Regulations by Irish farmers has improved water protection against pollution caused by nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) from agricultural sources. Further improving nutrient management on Irish farms by supporting farmers’ nutrient management decisions, is the single change that can do most to help farmers protect and improve water quality.

Better nutrient management can also deliver improved economic returns to the farmer by increasing the efficiency with which farmers use nutrients. Win-win mitigation measures, such as this, that reduce risk to the environment while also increasing economic returns are the most likely to be voluntarily taken up by farmers.

Insofar as the ACP approach and key strengths have found evidence for improved water protection, the programme has also identified remaining challenges and also provided considerations for potential solutions. By the end of Phase 2, the ACP had published over 50 peer-reviewed papers in international journals and well over 200 communication outputs. Some of the most important findings with their policy relevance can be viewed by clicking the link below.

Executive Summary Phase 2 (PDF)