Farmers can now access N and P statements

Farmers can now access their Nitrogen (N) and Phosphorus (P) statements for 2017, the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine has confirmed.

These end-of-year statements are now available on the department’s system www.agfood.ie.

Farmers can use these figures to plan for the importation of valuable livestock manures to replace chemical fertilisers, according to the department.

These statements are particularly useful to allow farmers to plan for the coming year and to ensure compliance with the limits of the Nitrates Regulations, thus avoiding penalties for breaching the limits of 170kg of N/ha.

This limit increases to 250kg N/ha for those who hold an approved derogation.

Farmers who exceeded the limits in 2017 based on their cattle numbers will be advised in writing of this shortly, the department explained.

These figures will not have taken into consideration any documentation submitted to the department by December 31, 2017, it added.

Those who exceeded the limits or came close to the limits in 2017 have been asked to consider applying for a derogation in 2018.

The 2018 derogation application process will open shortly and further details are expected to be announced regarding this in the near future.

Some 7,010 farmers applied for a Nitrates Derogation in 2017, an increase of 208 compared to the previous year.

The Nitrates Action Programme underwent a review last year. As a result of this review, there are additional conditions for farmers to comply with in order to qualify for a derogation.

The aim of these measures is to improve on-farm efficiency and contribute to the continued international recognition of the environmental sustainability of Irish agriculture.

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