Deadline for chemical fertiliser spreading on the horizon

Farmers have just days left to spread chemical fertiliser on their farms before the closed period commences at the end of this month.

Normally, farmers are prohibited from spreading chemical fertiliser from September 15 onwards.

However, the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed, extended the deadline to the end of September. He made the announcement as he officially opened the Tullamore Show and FBD National Livestock Show last month.

Also Read: Extension granted for fertiliser and slurry spreading

The minister also revealed that the deadline for spreading organic fertiliser – such as slurry – was extended from October 15 until the end of October.

Following a number of calls to extend the deadlines, Minister Creed granted the extensions so that farmers could “capitalise on autumn grass growth for fodder production”.

Farmers are allowed to spread farmyard manure on their land up until November 1.

Slurry, farmyard manure, and chemical fertilisers are prohibited from being spread over the winter in Ireland in order to comply with the European Union’s Nitrates Directive.

The aim of the closed period is to protect ground and surface water, including drinking water.

The regulations also prohibit the spreading of slurry at any time of the year when the ground is frozen or waterlogged – or when heavy rain is forecast – in order to prevent slurry running off into waterways.

The closed period for spreading chemical fertiliser, organic fertiliser and farmyard manure comes to an end at different times during the month of January – depending on what part of the country you are situated in.