The Code

N-Fertilizers

    1. Aim to have all N fertilizer applied by early to mid-September.
    2. Use only the Teagasc recommended levels of N which take account of the availability of soil N.
    3. Avoid N fertilizer application during extended drought period’s.
    4. Maintain a balance of nutrients in the soil. A deficiency of other nutrients can increase the potential for nitrate leaching.

All Fertilizers

    1. Match fertilizer application to yield expectations making due allowance for animal manure applied.
    2. When applying inorganic fertilizer avoid direct contamination of water courses by leaving a buffer zone of 1.5 metres.
    3. Avoid fertilizer spreading on or near hedgerows.
    4. Do not apply fertilizer when heavy rain is forecast.
    5. Do not apply fertilizer when soils are saturated.
    6. Do not apply fertilizer when soils are frozen or snow covered.
    7. Maintain spreading equipment in prime condition and calibrate equipment for even application.

Animal Manures

    1. Apply animal manures at rates which take account of the crop’s requirements. The shortfall between the nutrients applied in the manure and crop requirements should be made up with fertilizers.
    2. Cattle slurry should be recycled to land conserved for hay or silage at not more than 55m3/ha (5,000 gls. per acre), and not more than 33m3/ha (3,000 gls. per acre) in one application. Root crops can accept up to 44m3/ha (4,000 gls. per acre) in one application early in the growing season.
    3. Pig slurry should be applied at lower rates because of its higher phosphorus content. 27.5m3/ha (2,500 gls. per acre) may be applied for first cut silage and to root crops 11m3 (1,000 gls. per acre) per year will normally be adequate for grazing and cereals.
    4. Slurry should be applied when plants require the nutrients i.e., at the start or during the growing season.
    5. Farm Yard Manure (F.Y.M.) should be stored to minimize nutrient loss and applied to soil using Teagasc recommendations.
    6. Do not apply slurry when heavy rain is forecast within 48 hours.
    7. Do not apply slurry to soils that are saturated.
    8. Do not apply slurry when soils are frozen or snow covered.
    9. When applying slurry avoid direct contamination of watercourses by leaving adequate buffer zones.

Streams and drains 10 metres.

Lakes and river 20 metres.

Domestic wells 50 metres.

    1. Public water sources 50 – 300 metres.
    2. Maintain spreading equipment in prime condition and calibrate equipment for even application.
    3. Minimize slurry smell and nutrient losses to air by adopting a common sense approach:    Avail of suitable weather conditions. Use of best practices. Band spreading is more environmentally friendly than splash plate.

Soil Cover

  1. Whenever possible, avoid leaving soil bare over the winter. The growing of winter crops or catch crops reduces nitrate leaching.

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P & K Calculator

The P & K calculator is an online calculator for estimating P and K fertilizer requirements for grassland and crops. It is available online, or via the iOS and Android Smart Phone Apps.P & K Calculator