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Darragh McCullough: This latest ill-informed attack on farming is doing real environmentalists a disservice

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Darragh McCullough pictured on his farm in Stamullen, Co. Meath. Picture credit; Damien Eagers / INM

Darragh McCullough pictured on his farm in Stamullen, Co. Meath. Picture credit; Damien Eagers / INM

Darragh McCullough pictured on his farm in Stamullen, Co. Meath. Picture credit; Damien Eagers / INM

It sounds criminal now, but the nitrogen norm on Teagasc's trial farms around Moorepark in Cork used to be 390kg/Ha.

That's almost 40pc more than the absolute legal limit these days, when nitrate directives insist that any farmer using up to 250kg/Ha must also adhere to a raft of additional measures to minimise run-off and emissions.

But, as every farmer knows, the bar is getting higher. The current regime on several Teagasc farms at Curtins, Clonakilty and Solahead is to limit overall nitrogen loads to 125kg/Ha.