Farmers will not be required to upload paper records following the purchase of fertiliser this year for the new fertiliser database, a senior Department of Agriculture official has said.

Legislation for this database, which was supposed to be up and running from 1 January 2023, is currently waiting to be passed through the Dáil.

Speaking at an Irish Farmers Journal nitrates information meeting in Portlaoise, Co Laois, on Thursday, Department senior inspector Ted Massey said that the only instance where farmers will have to produce records of purchased fertiliser is if they are being inspected.

"Derogation farmers will still have to submit records to the Department and this will continue as it always has been. Other farmers are meant to have records - they will be looked for if they have a conditionality or cross-compliance inspection, but we are not looking for paper records from 130,000 farmers," he said.


When the fertiliser register does come in, Massey said that it has been designed to be a very simple and easy system for farmers.

"The farmer will go into agfood, they will register for the database, at some stage the farmers will have to declare their opening stock of fertiliser and from then on, the merchants will upload data to the data base.

"When the farmer goes into the co-op or merchant, they will give their herd number and the merchant will associate that with a transaction. Once the fertiliser is dispatched out to the farmer, it will move on to the database.

"At the end of the spreading season, the farmer will be able to declare their closing stock on the system."

Watch back: Irish Farmers Journal nitrates meeting.

Hundreds of farmers attended information meetings hosted by the Irish Farmers Journal which featured speakers from the Department of Agriculture, the Local Authority Waters Programme (LAWPRO) and the IFA.

Here’s a chance to catch up with what was heard and seen at the meetings.

Forward buying

Farmers, Massey said, will still be able to forward buy fertiliser like they did before. It is the date that the fertiliser is dispatched to the farm that is the "date that matters".