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Grassland derogations for livestock manure in Nitrate Vulnerable Zones

Farmers within Nitrate Vulnerable Zone’s (NVZ) are restricted to apply up to 170 kg of nitrogen from livestock manure on their holding per year. This is calculated as an average across the holding including manure deposited directly by grazing livestock.

2018 Grassland Derogation

For 2018 farmers are able to apply to increase the allowance to 250kg of nitrogen per hectare on grassland if the nitrogen comes from grazing livestock manure. To secure this allowance you must meet various conditions, including:

  • At least 80% of the agricultural area on your holding must be grass.
  • Grassland must only be ploughed if you plant a crop with high nitrogen demand within 4 weeks of ploughing or grass within 6 weeks of ploughing. There are also some date restrictions for certain criteria.
  • You are unable to grow leguminous or other atmospheric nitrogen fixing plants in a rotation unless it is grass with less than 50% clover or legumes under-sown with grass.
  • You must plan the amount of phosphate fertiliser you put on.
  • Sample and analyse the soil at least once every four years.
  • Keep fertiliser plans and field records.
  • Submit fertiliser accounts to the Environment Agency.
  • Finally, the Environment Agency is entitled to inspect the holding to sure you are meeting the conditions.

Applications for 2018 must be submitted to the Environment Agency between 2 October and 29 December 2017, with all relevant information. If you have an existing derogation it will finish December 2017 and you will have to reapply for 2018, contact Rostons to discuss this in more detail.