The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) has confirmed that cattle only nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) statements (N&P Statements) for the period January 1 to September 30, 2022, are now available on the department’s online system.

Farmers are also reminded that the deadline to declare movements of organic manure off their holdings this year is December 31, 2022.

All movements must be declared and verified online by this date. Record 4 forms  (Temporary movement of animals) and Record 5 forms (Short-term grazing agreements) must also be submitted to the Nitrates Section by December 31, 2022.

Under the Nitrates Regulations, farmers must not apply more than 170kg of N from livestock manure per hectare per year. Compliance with the Nitrates Regulations is one of the statutory requirements under the Single Payment Scheme.

Nitrogen and phosphorous statements

The DAFM has said that N&P Statements are particularly useful to allow farmers plan for the remainder of the year to ensure compliance with the limits set in the Nitrates Regulations.

It means farmers can avoid penalties for breaching the limits of 170kg of organic nitrogen per hectare or the limit of 250kg of organic nitrogen per hectare for those who hold an approved Nitrates Derogation.

Effective from March 9, 2022 the maximum stocking rate permitted for commonage is 50kg organic nitrogen per hectare with no chemical nitrogen permitted.

Measures all farmers can take to avoid exceeding the nitrates limits of 170kg/ha (or 250kg/ha for derogation holders) include:

  • Renting additional land;
  • Reducing livestock numbers;
  • Exporting enough slurry/farmyard manure and declaring the movement online.