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The Nitrates Directive. An Introduction. REPS Course 2007. The Nitrates Directive:. Stocking Rate. Stocking Rate Limit. Stocking Rate Limit in the Regulations = 170 kg Organic Nitrogen per hectare (0.8 cows per hectare). Stocking Rate (continued).

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the nitrates directive

The Nitrates Directive

An Introduction.

REPS Course 2007.

stocking rate limit
Stocking Rate Limit
  • Stocking Rate Limit in the Regulations = 170 kg Organic Nitrogen per hectare (0.8 cows per hectare)
stocking rate continued
Stocking Rate (continued)
  • Where a farm is mixed – grassland and tillage – and has at least 5 per cent of the farm in tillage, the farmer will be allowed to have a grassland stocking rate of up to 250 kg of Organic Nitrogen per hectare, once the overall stocking rate of the holding is below 170 kg of Organic Nitrogen per hectare.
the nitrates directive5

The Nitrates Directive:

Slurry Storage Requirements

slurry storage requirements
Slurry Storage Requirements
  • Storage facilities are required for livestock manure, dairy washings, soiled water and effluent from dungsteads, farmyard manure pits and Silage Pits.
  • Storage being put in place on or after 1st August 2006 must be designed and constructed to prevent run off and seepage and must comply with construction specifications from the Department of Agriculture and Food.
slurry storage requirements7
Slurry Storage Requirements


  • All livestock farmers must have a minimum of two months storage in place for November and December 2006 / 2007.
  • All livestock farmers must have the remainder storage capacity required for their zone in place by December 31st 2008.
  • Allowances will be made for farmers who straw bed their animals along the lines of REPS.
  • Intensive Pig Farmers must have all storage capacity in place by December 31st 2006.
step to calculate your slurry storage requirement continued12
Step to calculate your Slurry Storage Requirement ( continued)
  • Notes.
  • If there is a flow of soiled water, dairy washings or effluents into the tank then this capacity must be provided for in 2006 for November and December. If tank is open then net rainfall must also be taken into account during the storage period.
  • An additional 200mm freeboard must be provided in all covered tanks and 300mm freeboard in all uncovered tanks.
  • Where there are pigs or poultry kept on the farm holding the slurry produced by these livestock will have to be taken into account when calculating slurry storage requirement.
how to calculate slurry storage requirement
How to calculate slurry storage requirement.
  • A farmer in Zone A, who intends to store the slurry in a covered tank and has 50 dairy cows, 10 cattle 0 – 6 months, 10 cattle 6 – 12 months, 10 cattle 12 – 18 months, 10 cattle 18 – 24 months and 15 cattle > 2 years would require the following slurry facilities.
  • The farmer would therefore need 429m3 of slurry storage to satisfy the requirements of the Nitrates Regulations.

( In all cases an additional 200mm in depth must be provided as freeboard for agitation & to prevent overflow.)

rules for reduced slurry storage requirement
Rules for reduced slurry storage requirement.
  • A farmer may not have the full storage where he / she satisfies the following criteria:
  • Has a contract providing exclusive access to alternative storage outside the farm
  • Has a contract for access to a treatment facility for livestock manure
  • Has a contract for transfer of manure to a person authorised to collect, recover and dispose of: and
4. Where grassland stocking rate on a farm does not exceed 140 kg Organic Nitrogen per hectare per year ( 0.66 cows per hectare) farmers can reduce their storage capacity by taking into account outwintering of stock and therefore do not have to provide storage for the following:
  • Sheep, Goats, deer outwintered at a grassland stocking rate not exceeding 130 kg of Organic Nitrogen per hectare on any day during the closed period for spreading slurry, or
  • Livestock ( other than dairy cows, deer, goats or sheep) which are outwintered at a grassland stocking rate not exceeding 85 kg of Organic Nitrogen per hectare on any day during the closed period.
the nitrates directive16

The Nitrates Directive

Dairy Washings, effluents & Soiled Water Capacity.

dairy washings effluents soiled water capacity
Dairy Washings, effluents & Soiled Water Capacity.
  • If soiled water, i.e. run off from yards and dairy washings etc. is flowing into

the slurry tank , it is classified as


dairy washings effluents soiled water capacity continued
Dairy Washings, effluents & Soiled Water Capacity ( continued)
  • If soiled water is held in a separate holding tank then the following storage capacity must be provided:
    • Storage Capacity for soiled water should be sufficient to hold the amount produced in 10 days.
    • For Silage effluent, if the farmer has a vacuum tanker or an irrigation system, then 7 m3 storage space must be provided fro every 100 tonnes of silage. Otherwise 21 m3 must be provided for every 100 tonnes of silage.
    • NOTE: From 1st January 2007. farmers must take all reasonable steps to reduce the amount of soiled water, ensuring that rainfall from roofs, unsoiled paved areas and water flowing from higher ground onto yards are not contaminated and diverted to a clean water out fall.18
1 nitrogen
1. Nitrogen.
  • The rates outlined below are for a farm that does not import and apply animal manure of any type.
      • Farms, stocked below 170 kg Organic Nitrogen / ha, from here on referred to as non derogation farms, must comply with the maximum application rates set out in the following table.
2 phosphorous
2. Phosphorous.
  • The rate of phosphorous that a farmer can spread on land depends on:
    • Stocking Rate
    • The Soil Index
    • The Zone the farm is located in.
    • The amount of concentrates fed to the livestock.
phosphorous stocking rate
Phosphorous: Stocking Rate
  • 2 bands have been set for non derogation farms with 2 maximum application rates of Phosphorous.
  • These are farms stocked below 130 kg Norg / ha (0.61 cows per acre) and farms stocked between 131kg N org / ha to 170 kg Norg / ha (0.8 cows per acre).
phosphorous soil index zones and concentrates feed
Phosphorous: Soil Index, Zones and Concentrates feed.
  • All Soil Index is assumed 3, unless it is shown by Soil Results to be otherwise.
  • A different application rate applies to each zone because of the difference in the closed period.
  • For every 100kg of concentrates fed to livestock (other than pigs and poultry) the amount of Phosphorous that can be applied must be reduced by 0.5 kg.
buffer zones
Buffer Zones
  • A. Chemical fertilisers should not be applied to land within 1.5 metres of any surface watercourse.
  • B. Slurry and Soiled water should not be applied to land within:
    • 200 metres of a public water supply serving 500 or more persons;
    • 100 metres of a public water supply serving between 50 and 500 persons;
    • 25 metres of a domestic well,
    • 20 metres of a lake shoreline;
15m of exposed cavernous karstified limestone features;
  • 5m from any surface water course other than a lake
  • Organic fertilisers cannot be spread within 10m of watercourse where average incline of land is greater than 10% towards the watercourse, which is a slope of one in ten.
C. FYM: Where FYM is stored in a field prior to landspreading it shall be held in a compact heap and shall not be placed within :
    • 250 metres of a public water supply serving 50 persons or more.
    • 50 metres from a public water supply serving between 1 and 50 persons.
    • 20 metres of a lake shore line
    • 10 metres from a surface watercourse other than a lake; and
    • FYM shall not be held in a field at any time during the closed periods.
records that need to be maintained
Records that need to be maintained.
  • Records Should include the following:
    • Total Area of the holding
    • Net Area of the holding
    • Cropping regimes and their individual areas
    • Livestock Numbers and Type
    • Nature and Capacity of Storage Facilities
    • An Estimation of the Annual Fertiliser Requirement
    • Opening Stocks, Closing Stocks and Purchases of Chemical Fertilisers
    • Livestock Manures and other Organic Fertilisers moved onto or off the holding.
    • Results of any soil analysis.
    • Quantities and types of concentrate feed stuffs.
    • Location of any water source on the farm.
    • Where applicable, a certificate in relation to the nutrient content of the fertiliser.
  • The Local Authorities will be the main inspecting body under the Nitrates Regulations.
  • However, because the Nitrates Regulations is a part of Cross Compliance, the Department of Agriculture have the right to inspect farms also.