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Farmers can be banned from spreading fertiliser under incoming new laws

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Control: Under the new laws, farmers must register as a ‘professional fertiliser end user’ to buy or spread fertiliser. Photo: David Creedon

Control: Under the new laws, farmers must register as a ‘professional fertiliser end user’ to buy or spread fertiliser. Photo: David Creedon

Control: Under the new laws, farmers must register as a ‘professional fertiliser end user’ to buy or spread fertiliser. Photo: David Creedon

Farmers can be banned from spreading fertiliser under new laws being developed to establish a new Fertiliser Database.

Under the new laws, farmers must register as 'professional fertiliser end user’ in order to purchase or spread fertiliser.

The legislation underpinning the new database was recently published by the Department of Agriculture and will allow the Minister for Agriculture to remove farmers from the register or refuse their applications.

A key measure in the Government's plans to cut fertiliser use, the proposed database will record fertiliser sales and farmers opening and closing stocks each year.

The Department has said information on the database will primarily be entered by persons selling fertiliser. Farmers will have the option to view and download their data if they wish.

It comes as the Fertiliser Database Stakeholder Consultative Committee held its latest meeting last week, to receive an update on the development of the database, which is anticipated to be in place at the start of 2023.

Speaking after the meeting, ICMSA deputy president Denis Drennan said many questions remain as to how the new measure will work and how it will impact farmers.

He said clarity is needed from the Department as to whether an appeals system is in place to deal with mistakes regarding farmers' individual accounts.

He also said it would be vital that the system be updated in real-time to facilitate farm decision-making, adding that measures must also be taken to ensure farmers who are not IT-proficient are not compromised.

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