Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue TD, this week announced an extension to the deadlines to submit the dairy excretion rate band and Nitrates Derogation applications for 2023.  

2023 Dairy Excretion Rate Band is extended to 31st March 2023. 2023 Nitrates Derogation Applications is extended to 12 noon the 14th April 2023.

Minister McConalogue said: “Being the first year that dairy farmers are requested to confirm their nitrogen (N) excretion rate band for their dairy herd, and after recent engagement with farmers, milk co-ops and advisors, I have agreed to the extension to facilitate all stakeholders to effectively engage with this new measure. Almost 8,000 farmers have already recorded their choice on the banding portal.”  

The Nitrates banding portal on the Irish Cattle Breeding Federation (ICBF) website, is open to all dairy farmers. Provided the farmer has given permission for a co-op to share their milk purchaser data with ICBF, farmers are encouraged to submit their associated Nitrogen excretion rate band for 2023 through ICBF. 

For the small cohort of farmers who have not consented to share their data with ICBF, this extension should also allow the necessary time for farmers to contact and engage with their milk purchasers in completing the required paper return to DAFM. This form is available to download from the Department’s website – Rural Environment & Sustainability – Nitrates (

The deadline for all dairy farmers to submit information for DAFM to validate a farmers excretion rate band is now extended to 31st March, 2023. 

Minister McConalogue also said: “I am conscious that due to the new banding rules some farmers may find that their Nitrogen excretion rates will result in an increase to the overall farm organic Nitrogen stocking rate. In some cases, farmers may need to submit a Nitrates Derogation application and adhere to the terms and conditions to allow them farm at a stocking rate up to 250kg organic N/ha for 2023. 

“Therefore, I am extending the deadline for receipt of a 2023 Nitrates Derogation application to 14th April, 2023. The Department’s online application portal had been due to close for applications at midnight on 31st March, 2023. It will now remain open until 12 noon the 14th April, 2023. Intending applicants should immediately contact their adviser if they have not already done so.”

Farmers who applied for a Nitrates Derogation in 2022 are also reminded that they must submit 2022 Fertiliser Accounts by the revised closing date the 14th April, 2023.