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Nitrates Derogation 2020 - Commonage/ Rough Grazing


One of the new measures to be implemented this year as part of the Nitrates Action Plan 4 relates to commonage and rough grazing. This new measure will affect about 500+ farmers. Teagasc Advisor in the Galway/Clare region has some information.

This new measure will have no effect on roughly 90% of farmers in derogation. The principle behind this measure is trying to reflect the stock carrying capacity of the ground. So commonage or rough grazing land, as declared on the derogation farmers BPS, will not be eligible for the derogation allowance of 250 Kg livestock manure N/Ha.

The net effect of this will be to lower the stocking rate and fertiliser allowances of derogation farmers, that the new measure applies to.  It is important to know this commonage or rough grazing ground will be eligible for BPS, to draw down entitlements, and for nitrates purposes but at a 170 N/Ha limit, as outlined in the table below:

Derogation Farmer

  • Permitted for inclusion to ≤170 livestock manure N/Ha
  • Chemical allowance permitted to ≤170 livestock manure N/Ha or WFSR allowance whichever is lower
  • No further chemical allowance is permitted for commonage or rough grazing above WFSR of 170 livestock manure N/Ha

As can be seen above while the principle is simple, trying to reflect the stock carrying capacity of the ground, the implications for each of the farmers, that are affected, will be very individual. The effects will be 2 fold, a slightly lower stocking rate and a slightly lower fertiliser allowance. To get the individual allowances for each derogation farmer affected, a new derogation fertiliser plan should be completed. So consult with your derogation planner to amend the derogation fertiliser plan, and know what the new allowances will be for your farm.