We all know it. Weather plays a crucial role in the efficiency of our fertiliser use. Farmers avoid spreading fertiliser before heavy rain to reduce the risk of losses. But what happens when a heavy rain event comes along and nutrients have been spread?

At the end of January this year, in the open slurry spreading season, one inch of rain fell in the Ballycanew area of Co Wexford and 10% of the phosphorus (P), which leaves the catchment of 1,200ha on an annual basis, left in those 24 hours. Over the whole 12 months, 50% of the P left the catchment during high rainfall events. To put this into perspective. Over the year, approximately 1kg P/ha leaves the catchment, a relatively small amount from farms.