Farmers have just under one month to submit closing stocks of fertiliser for the 2023 season.
The requirement to declare any fertiliser remaining on farm after the application deadline of 11.59pm on 14 September is part of new legislation which came into law on 24 July under the national fertiliser database (NFD).
The NFD will track fertiliser use across the industry, with farmers required to register as professional users and suppliers of fertiliser required to register as fertiliser economic operators.
This process means that all fertiliser sales will now be recorded centrally.
The way it will work in practice is that when purchasing fertiliser, farmers must disclose their herd number.
The supplier of the fertiliser then records the purchase on the database. This information is visible to farmers via the NFD portal on agfood.ie.
Both of these registrations must have taken place since 1 September for anyone selling or purchasing fertiliser.
Imports of fertiliser to the State must also be recorded within 72 hours on the database since 1 September.
There is already in excess of 100,000 farmers registered as professional users.
Farmers who have not already registered will need to do so by 15 October to be in a position to record their closing stocks.
This is a mandatory process and farmers who do not have any fertiliser on hand must still log on and complete a nil declaration.
Fertiliser economic operators
Premises registered as fertiliser economic operators must also declare their closing stocks. The date for quantifying closing stocks is 30 September 2023, with 15 October also the deadline for recording this information on the database.
There are also two more important dates that operators must abide by.
Sales of fertiliser for the period September, October and November must be recorded on the database by 15 December, while sales in December must be recorded by 15 January.
From January 2024 onwards, sales of fertiliser must be recorded on the database by the 15th day of the following month.
There are two ways in which a co-op or agri merchant will be able to provide data: