Ireland’s farmers are beginning to get themselves into a frenzy, to try get the last of this year’s fertiliser out on the land before the fast approaching deadline.
The deadline is set at September 15th, for Ireland’s farmers to conclude with the spreading of chemical fertilisers for the year. This is the deadline set out under the Nitrates Directive, in place since 1991. It was first set up with the aim to protect water quality from pollution by agricultural sources and to promote the use of good farming practice.
This means that after this date is is illegal for any farmer to spread fertilisers containing nitrogen and phosphorous on their land and means they cannot spread any until the window reopens in January. These dates vary from region to region. The window will be open for all counties by January 31st at the latest.
The upcoming deadline comes a month before the deadline for spreading slurry. Farmers have until October 15th to conclude with the spreading of slurry on their lands, after which they will not be allowed until January, in compliance with the European Union’s Nitrates Directive.