Agriculture

Agriculture has played an important part in the economic and sustainable growth of County Cavan.

However, in order for this to continue, the agricultural community has to ensure that various obligations regarding the law and the environment are applied.

Cavan is renowned for the large number of lakes and intricate river systems.  It is everyone’s responsibility to ensure these river and lakes are properly protected as many of which are sources of our drinking water.  Cavan is predominantly a rural County; therefore, one of the potential sources of pollution to our rivers and lakes can be poor agricultural practices. 

Care must be taken when landspreading, including adherence to the following distances from various water features.

Chemical fertiliser

Chemical fertiliser shall not be applied to land within

  • 2 metres of any surface waters.

Organic fertiliser

Organic fertiliser included livestock manure, dungstead manure, farmyard manure, slurry, soiled water, silage effluent, spent mushroom compost, sewage sludge, industrial by-products, sludges and residues from fish farms.

Organic fertiliser or soiled water shall not be applied to land within

  • 200 metres of an abstraction point for a water scheme which supplies 100m³ or more of water per day or 500 or more persons.

  • 100 metres of an abstraction point for a water scheme which supplies 10m³ or more of water per day or serves 50 or more persons.

  • 25 metres of an abstraction point not specified in 1 or 2 above.

  • 20 metres of a lake shore.

  • 15 metres of exposed cavernous or karstified limestone features.

  • 5 metres of surface watercourse.  This distance is 10 metres for a period of 2 weeks preceding and 2 weeks following the periods when application of fertilizers to land is prohibited.

Farmyard Manure

Where farmyard manure is held in a field prior to landspreading it shall be held in a compact heap and shall not be placed within  

  • 250 metres of an abstraction point for a water scheme which supplies less than 10m3 of water per day or serves less than 50 persons.

  • 50 metres of an abstraction point not specified in 1 above.

  • 20 metres of a lake shoreline.

  • 50 metres of exposed cavernous or karstified limestone features.

  • 10 metres of surface watercourse.

Organic fertiliser, soiled water or chemical fertiliser shall not be applied 

  • On wet or waterlogged land.

  • Land that is flooded or likely to flood.

  • On frozen or snow-covered land.

  • If heavy rainfall is forecast within 48 hours.

  • On land sloping steeply towards rivers, streams, lakes and exposed bedrock.

Legislation overview

The ‘European Union (Good Agricultural Practice for Protection of Waters) Regulations 2014’ is the current legislation with regards to agricultural activities and covers many aspects of agriculture in respect of protecting water quality including

  • Land spreading distances from water bodies. It is essential that the required distances are observed in the case of domestic wells and public water supply sources.

  • Requirements as to the manner of application of fertilisers, soiled water etc.

  • Periods when application of fertilisers is prohibited.

  • Limits on the amount of livestock manure to be applied.

  • Ploughing and the use of non-selective herbicides.

If you would like to view the latest regulations covering the use of agricultural land, you can do so by taking a look at the following website:

Useful websites

However, if you have any questions or concerns regarding agriculture within the County Cavan area, please get in touch using the details below.

Public Consultation on Ireland’s Nitrates Action Programme

The Minister for Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government, Simon Coveney, T.D., invites submissions, observations and comments on the third review of Ireland’s Nitrates Action Programme.

This consultation is run jointly by the Department of Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government (DHPCLG) and the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM). The objective of this public consultation process is to invite stakeholders to feed into the consultative process in relation to the proposed legislation.

Why are we launching a Public Consultation?

Ireland’s Nitrates Action Programme is given effect by European Communities (Good Agricultural Practice for Protection of Waters) Regulations 2014 (S.I. No. 31 of 2014).  The regulations contain specific measures to protect surface waters and groundwater from nutrient pollution arising from agricultural sources.  In accordance with the Nitrates Directive these regulations are due to be reviewed this year.

How to get involved

The Department is inviting any interested parties to make submissions to help inform the legislative process.

To get involved, please email your observations or comments to waterquality@housing.gov.ie by Friday 28th April 2017.

Postal responses should be sent to:
Nitrates Consultation, Water Quality Section, Department of Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government, Newtown Road, Wexford, Y35 AP90

To assist you, please refer to the consultation paper and Article 10 Report using the following link http://www.housing.gov.ie/water/water-quality/nitrates/public-consultation-irelands-nitrates-action-programme.

Additional Information - Water Quality Research

The following links may provide useful information to you in advance of making a submission:

Agricultural Catchments Programme Phase 2 (link is external)  Teagasc report, published 2017

Water Quality in Ireland 2010-2012 (link is external)   EPA report, published 2015

State of Ireland's Environment (link is external)     EPA report, published 2016

catchments.ie (link is external)  - General water quality information in Ireland