Ireland has won a derogation from a 1991 nitrates directive allowing it to apply livestock manure as fertiliser on farmland at rates above the EU annual limit of 170kg nitrogen per hectare under certain circumstances. Initially approved by member states last year (EED 17/11/06), the derogation was confirmed by the European commission on Tuesday. Irish farmers will be allowed to apply up to 250g nitrogen per hectare on farms with at least 80 per cent grassland until July 2010. Other member states including Germany enjoy similar derogations (EED 03/01/07). See commission decision.
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