Farmers who buy fertiliser in Northern Ireland for use on farms in the south will have to apply to join the two separate registers that will make up the national fertiliser database, the Department of Agriculture confirmed to the Irish Farmers Journal.
A spokesperson from the Department said that these farmers will be classified as importers and will have to register as economic operators in addition to applying for the end user registration that all farmers who spread fertiliser must join in the new year.
Farmers must be registered on the Department’s agfood.ie portal to register.
Compliance with the new rules will be monitored through “normal inspection procedures”, with any detected failure to register fertiliser sales leaving farmers and merchants open to fines.
Letters are to issue to farmers over the coming days informing them of the Department’s plans to introduce the registers.
The database will also require organic farmers wishing to spread lime to register on the database as further details released by the Department show that ground limestone will be treated similarly to chemical fertiliser.
The volume bought and a description of the product must be recorded for all lime sales from next year onwards, with similar requirements applying to biostimulants.
The Department told the Irish Farmers Journal that it intends on having the database’s IT system up and running “by the end of the year”.
Department officials will meet with merchants on 6 October to discuss the new IT requirements, with the first formal notice of its plans issuing to merchants only last week.
Some merchants had been unaware of the upcoming regulations when contacted by the Irish Farmers Journal last month and the rules will include a “specified timeframe” after movement from the merchant’s yard within which sale details will have to be submitted to the Department.