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.
It's not any single breakthrough technology that has facilitated this. Clover is probably the biggest factor, with farmers now being encouraged to develop swards that have a far higher proportion of this nitrogen fixer than heretofore.
Clover has been available for decades, and even though it holds out real potential savings for farmers in fertiliser costs, it was never a big feature, simply because bagged fertiliser was cheap and easier to manage than finicky clover swards.
The reason for the big shift to clover now is more about the environmental than the financial challenges that farmers are grappling with.
So it is really frustrating to see that these and all the other measures that have been implemented on farms around the country labelled as a failure in An Taisce's latest statement (see below) about our ammonia problem.
The lobby group has fired off a legal scud to the EU complaining about Irish efforts to reduce ammonia.
Their statement contrasts a recent vote by the Dutch Parliament to lower ammonia levels from farming with Ireland's decision to grant planning permission for a new cheese plant in Kilkenny.
Of course they glossed over the fact that the Netherlands has nearly double the density of dairy cows per square kilometre compared to Ireland.
Instead, they resort to slagging off Teagasc's emissions mitigation strategy as lacking "credibility in science, implementation and outcomes".
Like thousands of farmers, I pay Teagasc an annual fee because I believe that it gives me access to good scientific information and advice.
In fact, I'd go as far as to say that Irish farmers are lucky to have such a large body of skilled scientists carrying out cutting-edge, publicly-funded research on their behalf.
Right now, there are hundreds of highly-trained Teagasc staff totally dedicated to the task of looking at ways to mitigate emissions and the environmental impact of farming.
The Department of Agriculture are on the case too.
Almost half of all the national slurry output comes from pig and dairy farms governed by their nitrate derogation rules. So about 50pc of all the slurry generated is already spread via low-emission systems that cut ammonia losses by a quarter.
By rolling out the low-emission spreading requirements with the heaviest users first, and providing grant-aid for gearing up, the Department ensured there was enough kit available and that those who could most afford it were targeted first.
But the State's efforts are ignored by An Taisce.
Instead, they claim that "Teagasc is now pushing a change in nitrogen fertiliser type that increases ammonia emissions and does nothing to cut methane". This is presumably a reference to protected urea and is an example of some of the nonsense that they are becoming prone to.
Switching from CAN to protected urea reduces greenhouse gases like nitrous oxide by over 70pc. Switching from urea to protected urea reduces ammonia emissions by nearly 80pc.
An Taisce laments how the increase in dairy cows over the last decade has "increased the pressure on small farmers".
Populist claims like this also ignore the fact that dairying remains the only enterprise that is returning an income comparable to your average environmentalist lobbyist.
It is rapidly becoming the only mainstream farm sector that can sustain the traditional one-person 40Ha set-up that has been the backbone of rural Ireland.
An Taisce don't bother suggesting ways to ensure the 10,000 new jobs created by the dairy sector in the last decade are secured for another decade.
They don't need to worry about that stuff, "especially now in the midst of the tremendous national effort to tackle coronavirus", to borrow a line from their press release.
Instead, they can label all the efforts of the Irish agri-sector at producing some of the most sustainable meat and dairy in the world a "failure" and head off to enjoy a nice latté, courtesy of an almond grove in California or a dairy farm in Brazil.
Darragh McCullough is a broadcaster and runs a mixed farming enterprise at www.elmgrovefarm.ie