Reminder: Fertiliser spreading period closes today

Today, September 14, is the final day that farmers operating in the Republic of Ireland will be permitted to spread chemical fertiliser on their land.

As set out under the Nitrates Directive, the closed or prohibited period for fertiliser applications remains enforced until January 12 in the southeast; January 15 in the midlands and west; and January 31 in northern counties.

Failure to comply with these guidelines could result in penalties under the Basic Payment Scheme.

Research has shown that this prohibited period is necessary to prevent nutrient loss to water during the most environmentally risky time of the year.

The aim is to protect ground and surface water, including drinking water. These regulations also prohibit such applications at any time of the year when the ground is frozen, waterlogged or heavy rain is forecast.

Image source: Department of Agriculture

October deadline for slurry spreading

Slurry, farm yard manures and chemical fertilisers are prohibited from being spread over the winter in Ireland, in accordance with the European Union’s Nitrates Directive.

All farmers have until October 15 to spread slurry on their land; the closed period for farm yard manure applications starts on November 1.

Fertiliser spreading conditions

Despite time running out for fertiliser spreading, farmers must resist the urge to do so if their land is waterlogged or untravellable.

Met Eireann says that it will remain bright and fresh this morning, with good sunshine for many places. However, it says, showers will become widespread again this afternoon. Temperatures are expected to be 13-16°.