Department’s latest N and P statements now available

The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine has released the Nitrogen and Phosphorus (N and P) Statements for the period January to October, 2018.

The department says that the statements allow farmers to check their compliance with the Nitrates Regulations, and allow them to plan for the remainder of the year so that the limits set down by the regulations aren’t breached.

These regulations limit the amount of manure or slurry that can be spread per farmer in a year.

Penalties apply for farmers who don’t keep within the limit of 170kg of Nitrogen per hectare, or 250kg/ha with an officially approved department exemption.

Farmers must be registered with the department’s online system to view the statements; in order to register with the system, go to the www.agfood.ie and click ‘Register’.

Farmers must also register online if they want to be granted a derogation, which allows them to spread more manure and slurry, up to the 250kg/ha limit, subject to stricter regulations.

The purpose of the regulations is, according to the department, to protect surface and ground water, including drinking water. The same regulations ban spreading when the ground is frozen or waterlogged, or when heavy rain is expected.

The department is also reminding farmers that nitrates records for the movement of organic fertiliser, temporary movement of animals during the year, or short-term grazing agreements are due on or before December 31.

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