Ireland’s new fertiliser database could be expanded in future to track the movement and spreading of sludge, a senior Department of Agriculture official has said.

Speaking at the EPA’s water conference in Salthill, Co Galway, last week, chief agricultural inspector Bill Callanan said that while sludge was not his or the Department of Agriculture remit, it was an ambition to, in future, integrate sludge into the new national database.

If implemented, the addition of sludge movements, would come on top of the four-day slurry export notice requirement announced in February.

“I would like to see in the future, the integration of the likes of sludge movements, etc, into that [fertiliser database], so you have a better picture of where the overall nutrient load is,” Callanan said.

He said the aim of the fertiliser database was to get a more complete picture of where nutrients were being applied across the country.