N and P statements for 2020 available online

Nitrogen and Phosphorous (N and P) statements for the year 2020 are now available online, the Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine has confirmed today (Tuesday, February 9).

The statements cover the whole of 2020, from January to December, and are for cattle only.

The figures will not have taken into consideration any documentation submitted to the department by December 31.

The department said: “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.”

These limits are 170kg of livestock manure nitrogen per hectare, or 250kg N/ha for farmers with an approved derogation.

Farmers who exceeded the limits, or came close to doing so, in 2020 are being asked to talk to their agricultural advisor and to consider applying for a derogation in 2021 if they do not already avail of one.

The application period for a derogation for 2021 is currently open, and will remain so until March 31.

BEAM

The department also said that farmers participating in the Beef Exceptional Aid Measure (BEAM) scheme can also access their updated nitrogen figures.

According to the department, the available figures are accurate as of December 31, and farmers can also see how much of their target nitrates reduction figure to June 30 remains.

Letters detailing these figures are due issue to all BEAM participants next week.

The department confirmed last week that farmers who are in danger of not meeting the 5% livestock manure nitrogen reduction figure will be given the option to move their reference period out by six months, essentially giving them until December 31 to meet the requirements.

Farmers who are on track to meet the original June 30 deadline can stick by that date if they wish.