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Attention Derogation Farmers: Closing time is approaching!

We are less than 3 weeks away from the start of the closed period for chemical fertilisers (14th Sept is the last day N & P fertiliser can be spread). Right now is a good time to check back with your fertiliser plan and see how you are progressing.

Stop SignIt is important to know what your N & P limits are and stick with them but equally important to see have you addressed any soil fertility issues on your farm. Here are some reminders to keep you on track.

1. Know your N & P Allowances

  • What is your 2020 N allowance & what is left?
  • What is your 2020 P allowance & what is left?

2. Know your K Recommendations

  • Straight K (e.g. Muriate of Potash) can be spread at any time of the year. Follow the recommendations set out in your fertiliser plan (based on your soil results). Pay particular attention to paddocks where surplus bales have been taken. From the table below you can see that for every bale per acre taken off 10 units of K are also taken off – prioritise slurry or straight K for these fields.

Tractor Fertilliser spreading body image

Table 1: Units of N, P & K removed per acre depending on number of bales per acre

Bales per acre

N units/acre

P units/acre

K units/acre













 3. Know what tonnage of lime is to be spread.

We all know liming is the starting point when addressing soil fertility issues (target 6.3 for grassland). Correct pH ensures that N & P is used efficiently in the soil for maximum returns in terms of grass growth. A liming programme https://www.teagasc.ie/crops/soil--soil-fertility/faq/lime-faq/ is now mandatory (as of this year) as part of derogation requirements. For example, if your soil results show a requirement for 100 tonnes of lime, 60t must be spread this year.

4. Take Stock Now

Put together a list of your fertiliser purchases for the year to date and contact your Advisor to see where you stand. Here’s a simple checklist to work off.

Kgs N Allowed


Kgs Used



Kgs P Allowed


Kgs Used



Tonnes Lime needed


Tons spread



Kgs K recommended


Kgs Used



Ready, steady, go

The clock is ticking, but hopefully this reminder has prompted you to check up on your fertiliser plan. Don’t put it off: now is the time to get this all sorted.

For more updates and reminders, make sure that you’re following Teagasc Facebook & Twitter accounts, or visit www.teagasc.ie.

Read more on Nitrates Derogation here https://www.teagasc.ie/environment/schemes--regulations/nitrates-derogation/