Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
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Higher limit for application of livestock manure

Further details on the derogation for the amount of manure nitrogen that can be applied to farmland were yesterday announced by Defra.

Farmers of grazing livestock will be able to apply for a retrospective derogation for 2009, allowing them to apply up to 250kg of livestock manure nitrogen per hectare, where certain conditions are met to help protect waters.  The 170kg nitrogen limit continues to apply to livestock manure from other animals, such as pigs and poultry, that are not classed as grazing livestock.

Nitrate regulations are in place to reduce nitrate entering England’s rivers and groundwater from agriculture, helping to keep rivers in a healthy condition and protect our drinking water. 

New regulations, guidance and application periods will be published later this year for farmers wishing to apply for the derogation.

Farmers should apply retrospectively before the end of January 2010 for this year’s derogation.  Derogation applications for 2010 will should be made from 1 February to 30 April 2010.

More information including the criteria for complying with the derogation can be found at

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