Nitrates Action Programme (NAP) and Phosphorus Regulations 2015-2018

The Nitrates Directive (91/676/EEC) aims to improve water quality by protecting water against pollution caused by nitrates from agriculture sources. In particular, it is about promoting better management of animal manures, chemical nitrogen fertilisers and other nitrogen-containing materials spread onto the land.

Nitrates Action Programme (NAP) and Phosphorus Regulations 2015-2018

On 1 January 2015 changes to the Nitrates Action Programme (NAP and Phosphorus regulations were made for the period 2015-2018.  The new Regulations replace the NAP and Phosphorus Regulations 2011-2014.  The NAP Regulations and the Phosphorus Regulations apply to all agriculture land in Northern Ireland.

Compliance with the Nitrates Action Programme is one of the Cross Compliance Statutory Management Requirements.  Therefore, farmers claiming Basic Payment Scheme and other direct payments are required to comply with the NAP Regulations.  Measures relating to the Phosphorus Regulations are not Cross Compliance Verifiable Standards.  However, adherence to both sets of Regulations is required by law.

Online submission of manure export records

Niea encourages the use of the online submission for manure export records from January 2018. Records relating to the export of organic manure must be submitted annually to NIEA by 31 January of the following year. The online process for completion and submission of manure export records are available from DAERA Online Services.

Changes to the nutrient content of poultry litter and compliance with NAP

Figures on the nutrient content of poultry litter were revised with effect from 1 March 2018 and published in FAS Newsletter Issue 10.

Poultry litter storage and spreading

After 1 August 2012 field storage of poultry litter is permitted only with the approval of Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA).

Farmers planning to store poultry litter in fields should contact the NIEA, Agricultural Regulation Team for approval prior to placing the litter in the field.

NIEA contact telephone number: 028 9263 3445

Please note that the maximum length of time that poultry litter may be stored in a field where it is to be applied has been amended from 180 days to 120 days since January 2015 when the Nitrates Action Programme (NAP) Regulations (NI) 2014 came into effect.

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