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The Nitrates Action Programme Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2010

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PART 3Prevention of water pollution from the application of fertilisers

Periods when the land application of nitrogen fertiliser is prohibited

6.—(1) The land application of chemical fertiliser to grassland shall not be permitted from 15 September in any year to 31 January of the following year.

(2) The land application of chemical fertiliser to any land shall not be permitted from 15 September in any year to 31 January of the following year for crops other than grass unless there is a demonstrable crop requirement between those dates.

(3) The land application of organic manure, excluding farmyard manure and dirty water, to any land shall not be permitted from 15 October in any year to 31 January of the following year.

(4) The land application of farmyard manure to any land shall not be permitted from 31 October in any year to 31 January of the following year.

(5) The land application of organic manure, to a derogated holding shall not be permitted from 15 October in any year to 31 January of the following year where the fertiliser plan indicates a proposal to disturb the soil as part of grass cultivation.

Requirements as to the manner of land application of nitrogen fertiliser to any agricultural land

7.—(1) The land application of nitrogen fertiliser shall be done in an accurate and uniform manner in accordance with paragraphs (2) to (10).

(2) The land application of nitrogen fertiliser shall not be permitted when—

(a)soil is waterlogged;

(b)land is flooded or likely to flood;

(c)the soil has been frozen for 12 hours or longer in the preceding 24 hours;

(d)land is snow-covered;

(e)heavy rain is forecast within 48 hours; or

(f)the land is steeply sloping land and where, taking into account factors such as proximity to waterways, soil condition, ground cover, rainfall and, in the case of land other than grassland, the time taken to incorporate organic manure, there is a significant risk of causing water pollution.

(3) The land application of nitrogen fertiliser shall not be permitted on any land in a location or manner which would make it likely that the nitrogen fertiliser will directly enter a waterway or water contained in any underground strata.

(4) The land application of chemical fertiliser shall not be permitted within 2 m of any waterway.

(5) The land application of organic manure shall not be permitted within—

(a)20m of lakes;

(b)50m of a borehole, spring or well;

(c)250m of a borehole used for a public water supply;

(d)15m of exposed, cavernous or karstified, limestone features (such as swallow-holes and collapse features); or

(e)10m of any waterway, other than lakes, including open areas of water, open field drains or any drain which has been backfilled to the surface with permeable material such as stone/aggregate; except that

(f)the distance for (e) may be reduced to 3m of any waterway where the land has an average incline less than 10% towards the waterway and where—

(i)organic manure is spread by bandspreader, trailing hose or trailing shoe or soil injection; or

(ii)the adjoining area is less than 1 hectare in size or not more than 50m in width.

(6) The maximum land application of solid organic manure shall be 50 tonnes per hectare at any one time provided this does not exceed the limits set out in regulation 8(1) and 9(3) and a period of at least 3 weeks shall be left between such land applications.

(7) The maximum land application of slurry shall be 50 m³ per hectare at any one time provided this does not exceed the limits set out in regulation 8(1) and 9(3) and a period of at least 3 weeks shall be left between such land applications.

(8) The maximum land application of dirty water shall be 50 m³ per hectare at any one time and a period of at least 2 weeks shall be left between such land applications.

(9) The land application of slurry shall only be permitted by spreading close to the ground using inverted splash plate spreading, bandspreading, trailing hose, trailing shoe, soil injection or soil incorporation methods.

(10) The land application of dirty water shall only be permitted by spreading close to the ground using inverted splash plate spreading, bandspreading, trailing hose, trailing shoe, soil injection, soil incorporation or irrigation methods.

Measures governing the limits on land application of nitrogen fertiliser to grassland

8.—(1) Save where regulation 10 applies the amount of total nitrogen in livestock manure applied to the agricultural area of a holding, both by land application and by the animals themselves, shall not exceed 170kg of nitrogen per hectare per year when calculated in accordance with paragraphs (3) and (4).

(2) For each holding, the total available nitrogen in organic manure and chemical fertiliser, excluding livestock manure, applied to grassland, shall be in proportion to the crop requirement of the holding, and shall not exceed the amounts as defined in Table 4 of Part 1 of the Schedule, when calculated in accordance with paragraphs (5), (6) and (7).

(3) The total nitrogen from livestock manure from animals kept on the holding is calculated in accordance with Table 1 of Part 1 of the Schedule.

(4) The total nitrogen from imported livestock manure is calculated in accordance with Table 2 of Part 1 of the Schedule for slurry and Table 3 of Part 1 of the Schedule for solid livestock manure.

(5) The total nitrogen content per tonne of other organic manure, excluding livestock manure, shall be as declared in accordance with the Waste Regulations.

(6) The amount of nitrogen available to a crop from chemical fertiliser, in the year of application of that fertiliser, is the percentage specified in Table 6 of Part 1 of the Schedule.

(7) Except in the case of livestock manure, the amount of nitrogen available to a crop from organic manure in the year of application of that fertiliser is the percentage specified in Table 6 of Part 1 of the Schedule, in relation to cattle and other livestock manure.

(8) Any controller wishing to deviate from the values set out in Tables 1, 2 or 3 of Part 1 of the Schedule must present a scientific case in order to obtain prior approval from the Department, and the Department shall only grant such approval where it is satisfied that a scientific case has been established.

(9) A controller may appeal the decision by the Department in paragraph (8) in accordance with the procedure set out in regulation 24.

Measures governing the limits on land application of nitrogen fertiliser to land other than grassland

9.—(1) Subject to paragraphs (2) and (3), in relation to a holding the quantity of nitrogen fertiliser added to land other than grassland both by land application and by the animals themselves each year shall not exceed the crop requirements for nitrogen calculated in accordance with paragraphs (4) to (8).

(2) The amount of nitrogen fertiliser applied to land other than grassland both by land application and by the animals themselves shall not exceed the recommendations contained in the fertiliser technical standards.

(3) Save where regulation 10 applies, the amount of total nitrogen in livestock manure applied to the agricultural area of a holding, both by land application and by the animals themselves, shall not exceed 170kg of nitrogen per hectare per year when calculated in accordance with paragraphs (4) and (5).

(4) The total nitrogen from livestock manure from animals kept on the holding is calculated in accordance with Table 1 of Part 1 of the Schedule.

(5) The total nitrogen from imported livestock manure is calculated in accordance with Table 2 of Part 1 of the Schedule for slurry and Table 3 of Part 1 of the Schedule for solid livestock manure.

(6) The total nitrogen content per tonne of other organic manure, excluding livestock manure, shall be as declared in accordance with the Waste Regulations.

(7) The amount of nitrogen available to a crop from livestock manure or chemical fertiliser, in the year of application of that fertiliser, is the percentage specified in Table 6 of Part 1 of the Schedule.

(8) Except in the case of livestock manure, the amount of nitrogen available to a crop from organic manure in the year of application of that fertiliser is the percentage specified in Table 6 of Part 1 of the Schedule, in relation to cattle and other livestock manure.

(9) Any controller wishing to deviate from the values set out in Tables 1, 2 or 3 of Part 1 of the Schedule must present a scientific case in order to obtain prior approval from the Department, and the Department shall only grant such approval where it is satisfied that a scientific case has been established.

(10) A controller may appeal the decision by the Department in paragraph (9) in accordance with the procedure set out in regulation 24.

Derogation from the measures governing the limits on land application of livestock manure

10.—(1) Where the Department approves a derogation for a grassland holding in accordance with this regulation, the total nitrogen in livestock manure from grazing livestock applied to that derogated holding shall not exceed 250kg of nitrogen per hectare per year when calculated in accordance with regulation 8(3) and (4).

(2) For the purposes of this provision “applied” means applied both by land application and by the animals themselves.

(3) With regards to derogation applications—

(a)a controller seeking a derogation shall submit a derogation application annually accompanied by a fertilisation account in accordance with 10(5) to the Department no later than 1 March for that calendar year;

(b)the Department shall grant or refuse a derogation application within 28 days from its receipt and where no response is received prior to the expiry of that period the derogation shall be deemed to have been granted;

(c)the deemed approval of a derogation application shall not preclude service by the Department of a notice under regulation 23; and

(d)the controller may appeal the refusal by the Department of the derogation application under paragraph (b) in accordance with the procedure set out in regulation 24.

(4) With regards to fertilisation plans—

(a)the controller of a derogated holding shall prepare and keep a fertilisation plan describing crop rotation and the planned application of nitrogen and phosphorus fertilisers to its agricultural area;

(b)fertilisation plans shall be made available on the derogated holding every year no later than 1 March for that calendar year;

(c)fertilisation plans shall include—

(i)the number of livestock on the derogated holding;

(ii)a description of livestock housing and livestock manure storage systems, including the volume of livestock manure storage available on the derogated holding;

(iii)the amount of nitrogen from livestock manure produced on the derogated holding calculated in accordance with Table 1 of Part 1 of the Schedule;

(iv)the amount of phosphorus from livestock manure produced on the derogated holding calculated in accordance with Table 7 of Part 1 of the Schedule;

(v)the crop rotation and area of each crop, including a sketch map indicating the location of the area of each crop;

(vi)the derogated holding’s foreseeable nitrogen and phosphorus crop requirement in accordance with fertiliser technical standards;

(vii)the quantity of each type of organic manure moved on or off the derogated holding;

(viii)the results of soil analysis relating to nitrogen and phosphorus soil status if available;

(ix)the amount of nitrogen from nitrogen fertilisers applied in each area of the derogated holding under the same cropping regime and soil type calculated in accordance with Tables 1 to 6 of Part 1 of the Schedule;

(x)the amount of nitrogen from other organic manure, excluding livestock manures, applied in each area of the derogated holding under the same cropping regime and soil type, as declared under regulation 8(5) and calculated in accordance with regulation 8(7);

(xi)the amount of phosphorus from phosphorus fertilisers applied in each area of the derogated holding under the same cropping regime and soil type calculated in accordance with Table 7 of Part 1 of the Schedule of these Regulations and Schedule 2 Table 1 of the Phosphorus Regulations;

(xii)the amount of phosphorus from other organic manure, excluding livestock manures, applied in each area of the derogated holding under the same cropping regime, as declared in accordance with regulation 2(3) of the Phosphorus Regulations; and

(d)where changes in agricultural practices necessitate changes in the fertilisation plan of a derogated holding the controller shall revise the plan within seven days of such changes taking effect.

(5) With regards to fertilisation accounts—

(a)the controller of a derogated holding shall submit fertilisation accounts for the calendar year to the Department by 1 March of the following year; and

(b)fertilisation accounts shall include—

(i)an account of the nitrogen crop requirement of the derogated holding;

(ii)an account of the nitrogen fertiliser applied to the derogated holding;

(iii)information relating to the derogated holding’s management of dirty water; and

(iv)information to allow the calculation of the derogated holding’s phosphorus balance.

(6) At least every four years the controller of a derogated holding shall undertake nitrogen and phosphorus soil analysis of every four hectares of the agricultural area of the derogated holding under the same cropping regime and soil type.

(7) The phosphorus balance of a derogated holding calculated in accordance with paragraph 1 and Tables 8 and 9 of Part 2 of the Schedule shall not exceed a surplus of 10kg phosphorus per hectare per year.

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