N and P Statements to April 30 now available

Interim nitrogen and phosphorus statements (N and P Statements) for the period January 2020 to April 2020 are now available online.

The statements are available from the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine.

The department said that these statements are useful to allow farmers to plan for the remainder of the year in order to comply with the limits of the nitrates regulations, and to avoid penalties for breaching the limits of 170kg/ha of Nitrogen (250kg/ha of nitrogen for farmers with a derogation).

Younger farmers more likely to breach regulations

Research published this week indicates that younger farmers are more likely to breach nitrates regulations, while farms in the east of the country are also more at risk.

The research, conducted and published by the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI), is aimed at predicting which farms are more likely to breach the limit on nitrogen of 170kg/ha.

Farms with more previous breaches and higher nitrogen per hectare (NPH) in recent years are at greater risk of non-compliance with the regulations.

While this is unsurprising, the ESRI said that there is a steady increase in the likelihood of non-compliance, rather than a threshold level above which farms are at greater risk.

The researchers argue that this implies that many breaches are not due to small changes in behaviour, but instead reflect substantial changes to business practices.