N and P statements up until the end of October now available

Farmers are reminded that Nitrogen (N) and Phosphorus (P) statements for cattle only for the period January to October 2017 are now available on the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine’s online system.

These statements could prove particularly useful for farmers in order to allow them to plan for the remainder of the year, in order to ensure compliance with the limits of the Nitrates Regulations.

A limit of 170kg of livestock manure nitrogen per hectare is set down in the Nitrates Regulations. But a farmer can apply for a Nitrates Derogation, which can allow them to exceed to the 170kg of livestock manure nitrogen per hectare up to a maximum of 250kg per hectare – subject to adherence to stricter rules.

Penalties will apply to farmers who breach the limits of 170kg livestock manure nitrogen per hectare, or the 250kg limit for those who hold an approved derogation.

Any intensively-stocked farmers who are close to breaching these limits will also have been contacted by the department directly.

Those who wish to avail of the derogation are required to make an annual application and farm in accordance with a fertiliser plan and a number of other conditions.

A derogation is available to grassland farms on an individual basis and it only applies to grazing livestock on the holding. Derogation documentation is available on the department’s website.

Farmers were able to submit their applications online in 2017 and the deadline for submissions closed on April 13. A total of 7,010 farmers applied for a derogation this year.

Meanwhile, farmers have also been reminded that they have until December 31 of this year to submit nitrates records.

Nitrates records for the movement of organic fertiliser, the temporary movement of animals during the year or short-term rental grazing agreements (Records 3, 4, 5 Forms) must be submitted before the deadline closes.

Completed forms should be sent to the Nitrates Section, of the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Johnstown Castle Estate, Co. Wexford.

Alternatively, forms can be sent by email to: [email protected] Any farmer who needs more information can contact the nitrates helpline on: 053-9163444.