Among the changes in the Nitrates action programme are:
• Winter ploughing date changed from 15 January back to 30 November.
• Reference yield for spring barley reduced from 7.5 to 6.5 t/ha.
• An extra 20kg N/ha can be applied for malting barley grown under contract where agronomic advice is that it is needed to address a low protein content.
• Maximum N fertiliser rates for winter wheat increased by 20kg/ha for all indices.
• Use of organic fertiliser on tillage crops will no longer result in a change to the nitrogen index, thus removing a barrier to the use of organic manures in tillage production.
• The nitrogen availability of Spent Mushroom Compost to be reduced to 20%.
• An extra 3.8kg/ha of P can be applied to cereal crops for each tonne of grain yield above 6.5 t/ha.
• An extra P allowance of 15kg/ha for reseeding at soil index 1, 2 or 3.
• The P contribution from concentrates fed to grazing livestock can be based on the known P content (book value or P content provided by supplier) or the default P concentration of 0.5kg P/100 kg of concentrate.
• The P contribution from concentrates fed to grazing livestock to be calculated on the basis of the previous year’s usage.
• Transition arrangements remain in place for pig and poultry manure for two years. Thereafter a phased reduction in the excess P that may be applied of 5kg/ha for two years and 3kg/ha for a further two years.