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Changes to Derogation Rules - timely reminders for dairy farmers

Approximately 7,000 farmers are derogation applicants in 2020. The vast majority are dairy farmers. Eight changes will affect you in 2020. George Ramsbottom, Teagasc Dairy Specialist tells us more.

Approximately 7,000 farmers are derogation applicants in 2020.  The vast majority are dairy farmers. Eight changes will affect you in 2020.  By not meeting these new rules you may well not be eligible for derogation.

You may already have a plan in place or need to discuss the changes with your Agri-Advisor and put a plan in place to meet these requirements this year and in the future.


Measure Detail
1. Compulsory Liming Programme
  1. From 1st January 2020, a full scale farm liming program to be carried out on farm where identified by soil sample results on all lands farmed with the exception of conacre farmed on an 1 year basis.
  2. Lime applications must be recorded on the Annual Fertiliser Records with invoices retained for inspection.
  3. The quantity of lime spread since the date of soil samples will be taken into account.
2. Low Emission Slurry Spreading (LESS) 2020: Applies to all slurry spread post 15th April
2021 : Applies to all slurry spread post 12th January
  1. The volume of Slurry spread by LESS must be recorded on annual records
  2. Applicants are required to have evidence of own machinery or contractor receipts where hired in LESS machinery is being used.
3. Reduction in Crude Protein % to dairy cows of meals at grass Livestock with 100% grass diet from 1st April - 15th September
2020: Max of 16% Crude Protein Rations
2021: Max of 15% Crude Protein Rations

The crude protein content is to be recorded on feed statements.


Attendance at compulsory environmental training course

All farmer applicants must attend an environmental training course.
  1. Course details and content to be specified by DAFM.
  2. Proof of attendance will be required.
  3. Courses must be completed before the 31st December 2021.
5. Grassland Management From 1st January 2020 - two options :
  1. Applicants must complete a minimum of 20 grass measurements on PastureBase Ireland
  2. Attend a grassland management course : details to be finalised by DAFM & course to be completed by 31st December 2021
6. Inclusion of Clover in Grass Seed Mixtures From 1st January 2020, grass seed mixtures must contain a minimum of 1.5 kg per hectare of naked white or red clover seed in mixture or 2.5kg per hectare of pelleted clover seed.
7. Exclusion of commonage / rough grazing From 1st January 2020, lands that are declared as Commonage or Rough Grazing on the BPS application will be allocated a maximum of 170 kg organic N per Hectare with resultant reduced allowance of chemical fertiliser.
8. Improve Farm Biodiversity From 1st January 2020, applicants must choose one of the following:
  1. Leave at least one mature Whitethorn or Blackthorn tree in every 300m of hedgerow.
  2. Maintain hedges on at least a three year cycle to encourage hedgerow flowering and fruiting