Latest water rules spark farmer fury
Irish farmers will be forced to dramatically change farming practices to comply with the new Water Framework Directive.
More rigorous farm inspections will be carried out by the Department of the Environment, Department of Agriculture and co-ordinated by local authorities aimed at an estimated 31pc of non-compliant farmers.
There were angry scenes at the National Tillage Conference in Carlow when farmers were told they faced an even more stringent regime.
The head of Teagasc's crop research centre warned the fallout would create "as big a row" as the Nitrates Directive.
Colin Byrne from the Department of the Environment said the measures were necessary for Ireland to reach its target of 100pc water purity by 2015, from its current 70pc.
"The control of pollution from agriculture remains a significant challenge to achieving water-quality standards in Ireland.
"Pollution from agricultural sources accounts for 31pc of pollution incidences," Mr Byrne said.