Commodity Watch - Nitrates Inspections

Saturday, 21 June, 2014

Commodity Watch

The Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA) recently began routine inspections for the environmental aspects of cross-compliance.  Approximately 300 Single Farm Payment claimants in Northern Ireland will receive inspections from the NIEA during 2014.  Farmers and landlords should make themselves aware of the details and requirements of cross compliance but in particular the Nitrates Action Programme 2011-2014 and Phosphorus Regulations.

During inspections this year, NIEA can request farm records from any year from 2009 to 2013 (2013 records can only be assessed after 30 June 2013) to partly assess farm compliance with the Nitrates and Phosphorus Regulations.  Farmers and landlords should make sure their nitrates and phosphorous records are complete so that they are prepared for a farm inspection if selected. Most of these records are already available on farm and keeping organised records will help avoid a breach of the regulations.

For comprehensive guidance on the Nitrates and Phosphorus Regulations the most recent booklet, ‘Nitrates Action Programme 2011-2014 and Phosphorus Regulations’ is available on the DARD website or through any of DARD the regional offices.

Farmers should ensure that they are aware and can comply with the limits as failure to do so will lead to a breach of cross compliance which may result in a SFP penalty.

If you are a UFU member you can contact Union Headquarters or your UFU Technical Officer for advice on how to prepare for an inspection.