The Department of Agriculture has released further details of the requirements farmers exceeding an organic nitrogen output of 170kg /ha must abide by.
The liming programme is a new requirement introduced under the midterm review of the nitrates action plan.
It is applicable to both farmers availing of a nitrates derogation (farm to an upper organic nitrogen limit of 250kg/ha) and those remaining under 170kg/ha organic nitrogen by means of exporting organic manures (slurry or farmyard manure).
Mandatory liming became a statutory requirement for derogation farmers from 1 January 2020 and came into play on 1 January 2021 for farmers remaining under the 170kg/ha limit by means of exporting organic nitrogen.
Under the measure, a liming programme must be implemented based on the nutrient management plan (NMP) and associated soil analysis results.
The Department advises that the NMP must establish a lime application programme for the farm and specify liming requirements for each parcel on the farm to achieve optimum pH.
The liming programme must be four years in duration, with a minimum of 25% of the lime required spread in year one and the balance applied over the remaining three years.
The Department also advises that lime applied prior to the commencement of the liming programme should be accounted for and can be deducted from the recommendation as follows:
The Department correspondence includes an example to shed some light on this requirement.
The example used is as follows: “New soil samples were taken in October 2020 which showed a recommendation of 100t of lime. This farmer had spread 40t of lime in September 2020. The lime requirement is 60t for implementation from 2021 – 2024. However the minimum of 25% of 60t must spread for 2021.”