By Jack Doherty
We all need to be aware of changes from last year in the legislation relative to purchasing fertiliser in 2024. Any farmer stocked over 130kg organic N per Hectacre NEEDS to have soil samples in order to purchase fertiliser with Phosphorus (P) in it. Up to now, without soil samples it was assumed that the soil was in index 3 for Phosphorus, this allowed farmers to spread maintenance levels of P. This assumption has now changed and farmers are now assumed to be in Index 4 for P, which means no P fertiliser is needed. Having optimum P levels in soil is essential for optimal grass growth and grass mineral requirements, especially in a lower chemical nitrogen future.
Farmers need to have soil samples that are less than 4 years old to prove that their ground needs P fertiliser.
For grassland soil samples they must not exceed 5ha in size.
Organic matter testing must also be done on soils that are marked on the Teagasc-EPA indicative soils map.
Farmers are advised to sample soil as soon as possible to ensure samples are processed in time for fertiliser shopping time! All fertiliser orders in Liffey Mills now also require each farmers fertiliser identification number.