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Nitrates Action Plan information for all farms

Nitrates regulations is a basic set of measures to protect waters, including drinking water sources, against pollution caused by nitrogen and phosphorus from agricultural sources. The primary emphasis is on the management of livestock manures and other fertiliser. See tables below for information

New prohibited periods for Soiled Water Spreading

Effective fromApplication Prohibited from
11th March 2022   21st – 31st December 
1st January 2023   10th – 31st December  
1st January 2024 - except winter milk producers 1st – 31st December 
1st January 2025 - for winter milk producers   1st – 31st December 

Changes to prohibited period for Slurry Spreading

Effective fromApplication Prohibited from
11th March 2022   8th October
1st January 2023 onwards 1st October

Annual dairy cow nutrient excretion rates from 1st January 2023

3-year rolling average herd milk yield (kg)N Excretion Rate -  kg/cowP Excretion Rate - kg/cow 
<4,500 kg 80 12
4,501-6,500 kg 92 13.6
>6,501 kg 106 15.8

Annual maximum fertilisation rates of nitrogen on grassland 

Grassland stocking rate -
kg N/ha/year
Maximum Chemical Nitrogen
≤130 114
131-170 185
171-210 254
211-250 225
>250 225

Soil Sampling Requirement 

Effective fromSoil Sampling Mandatory For
11th March 2022 Those stocked at >170 kg N/ha
1st January 2023 Those stocked at >130 kg N/ha
1st January 2023 All arable land

Phased introduction of Low Emission Slurry Spreading (LESS) Requirement

Effective fromLESS Mandatory for those stocked at
January 2023 > 150 kg N/ha
January 2024 >130 kg N/ha
January 2025 >100 kg N/ha

Storage periods for cattle manure and prohibited periods for spreading fertilisers, organic manure and soiled water

ZoneStorage PeriodProhibited Application Periods
    Chemical Fertilisers - Nitrogen and Phosphorous Organic Fertilisers* - other than FYM  Farmyard Manure (FYM)
A 16 weeks  15th Sept–26th Jan  1 st Oct–12th Jan  1 st Nov–12th Jan 
B 18 weeks  15th Sept–29th Jan   1 st Oct–15th Jan  1 st Nov–15th Jan 
C - Donegal, Leitrim 20 weeks  15th Sept–14th Feb   1 st Oct–31st Jan  1 st Nov–31st Jan 
C - Cavan, Monaghan 22 weeks  15th Sept–14th Feb  1 st Oct–31st Jan   1 st Nov–31st Jan 

NoteThe prohibited period for application of organic fertilisers starts on the 8th of October for each Zone in 2022 and the 1st of October for each zone from 2023 onwards.