A total of 3,586t of fertiliser has been imported from Northern Ireland to the Republic of Ireland since 1 September 2023, National Fertiliser Database figures show.

The database came into effect last September, legislating it to be an offence to sell or purchase fertiliser without being registered.

Farmers had to register as professional fertiliser end users, while merchants and manufacturers had to register as fertiliser economic operators. If farmers wanted to buy fertiliser from Northern Ireland, however, they had to register as both.

The Department of Agriculture told the Irish Farmers Journal that it is not possible to say how many farmers registered as a fertiliser economic operator in order to import fertiliser from Northern Ireland.

“There are a number of reasons why a farmer may have registered as a fertiliser economic operator, including the import of fertiliser into the State and farm-to-farm transfers of fertiliser etc. There are 1,619 professional fertiliser end users (primarily farmers) also registered as fertiliser economic operators,” the spokesperson said.