The prohibited application period for the spreading of slurry and other fertilisers is set to come to an end next week in all but four counties in the Republic of Ireland.

In relation to fertiliser application, the country is divided into three zones: Zones A, B and C.

The counties in Zones A and B will be allowed to spread slurry and fertiliser from next week, while Zone C will have to wait until February to be allowed to spread slurry on land.

The chart below shows the counties in each respective zone.

In all three zones, the prohibited application period for slurry and chemical fertiliser came into effect on September 15, 2021, and November 1, 2021 for farmyard manure.

The prohibited application period for all types of fertiliser in Zone A ends on Wednesday, January 12, while the prohibited period in Zone B comes to an end on Saturday, January 15.

Meanwhile, the prohibited period for fertiliser in Zone C comes to an end on Monday, January 31.

While Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) regulations may allow slurry spreading from next week, ground conditions may not be suitable.

Heavy rainfall has been experienced in many areas over the past week but the recent return to more dry frosty conditions will be a welcome change to farmers looking to get either chemical or organic fertiliser out on land.

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While gaps and wet parts of fields and paddocks may not allow for slurry application with a tractor and tank, hiring a contractor with an umbilical slurry system may well me a more feasible option for getting slurry out, causing less compaction to land.

Over the next few days, unsettled conditions have been forecast, so heavier ground will likely be unworkable next week while drier-type ground may well see the first applications of slurry for 2022 at some stage next week in the permissible counties.