Nitrate Regulations: 7 key rules on ploughing, herbicide usage and farmyard manure
The Nitrate Regulations have very strict requirements on ploughing, herbicide usage and stockpiling of farmyard manures many of which are easily forgotten.
1. Grassland must not be ploughed between October 16 and November 30.
2. Where grassland is ploughed between July 1 and October 15, you must sow a crop to provide green cover by November 1.
3. Therefore autumn ploughing is for sowing winter crops only and you can commence ploughing for spring crops on December 1.
4. A rough surface must be maintained prior to sowing a crop where lands are ploughed between December 1 and January 15.
5. Where a non selective herbicide is applied to land between July 1 and November 30, you must attempt to have green cover established on all of the land (100pc) within six weeks from either a sown crop or natural regeneration. For many situations establishment by natural regeneration will consist of shallow cultivation. The minimum area is reduced to 75pc on land contracted for seed crops or for human consumption.
6. No cultivation is allowed with 2m of any watercourse identified on the Ordnance Survey Ireland 6" map.
7. Farmyard manure cannot be stockpiled on land after November 1 by which it should be either landspread, stored in a dungsted with effluent collection facilities or stored in a shed which has a concrete floor from which effluent cannot escape.