Good practice for tackling diffuse nitrate pollution from farms and farmsteads

This tool collates examples of good practice for tackling diffuse nitrate pollution from farms and farmsteads. The purpose of the document is to present pragmatic methods which can contribute to limit nitrate leaching to the aquatic environment and thereby contribute to a higher level of compliance with the aim of the Nitrates Directive and Water Framework Directive.

According to the Nitrates Directive the member state must establish codes of good agricultural practice,to be implemented by farmers as mentioned in Annex II and III. The codes of good practice are implemented as a number of specific obligations for the farmer and can differ from member state to member state. It is the intention with this document to describe in more detail than has been done previously how those obligations can be controlled and in the end help each member state to be in compliance with the directive.

The Nitrates Directive forms an integral part of the Water Framework Directive and is one of the key instruments in the protection of waters against agricultural pressures. This work will therefore include measures implementing both EU-directives.

The document is partially built on the EU commissions report from 2011, “Controls on the implementation of the Nitrate Directive. Results of a questionnaire among Member States. Guidelines on Controls” (appendix 1) with the aim of making the recommendations from the report even more concrete by giving practical examples of good practice for controlling various measures. The examples can be from one member state or they can be a compilation of practice from more member states.

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