End-of-year nitrogen and phosphorus (N&P) statements for 2017 are now available on the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine's (DAFM) website.
"Farmers can use these figures to plan for the importation of valuable livestock manures (eg. pig slurry) to replace chemical fertilisers," according the DAFM.
"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 of 170kg of N per hectare or the limit for those who hold an approved derogation is 250kg of N per hectare."
The DAFM said that farmers who exceeded the limits in 2017 based on their cattle numbers will be advised in writing of this shortly. These figures will not have taken into consideration any documentation submitted to the DAFM by December 31, 2017.
"Farmers who exceeded the limits or came close to the limits in 2017 should consider applying for a derogation in 2018 which caters for farming to apply livestock manure on a holding (including by the animals themselves) above 170kg N/ha/year up to 250kg N/ha/year. The 2018 derogation application will be available shortly and further details will be announced regarding this."
Farmers not already registered for agfood.ie can do so by logging onto www.agfood.ie and clicking the 'Register' button. To register a mobile phone number for future SMS text alerts log on to https://www.agriculture.gov.ie/contactsupdates/ to access the sign-on form or, alternatively, contact the regional office.