Loss of Phosphorus and Nitrogen from Agricultural Activities has been identified as a major contributing factor to the pollution of water bodies with these nutrients.
In 1996, a Code of Good Agricultural Practice to Protect Waters from Pollution by Nitrates (the "blue book") was issued jointly by the Department of Agriculture, Food and Rural Development and the Department of the Environment and Local Government. This book contains advice and recommendations for farmers as to -
- storage of organic fertilisers
- standards and specifications for construction of storage facilities
- when to apply organic and chemical fertilisers to land
- appropriate rates of application of fertilisers, and
- precautions to be taken to avoid causing water pollution.
Copies of this document are available from The Department of the Environment www.environ.ie , and Limerick County Council Environment Section firstname.lastname@example.org
The following summary booklet is also available to download from the Department of Agriculture. :
Good Farming Practice - Summary Booklet (download Adobe Acrobat file - 169 KB)"
Guidelines for Slurry/Fertiliser Spreading
Check the weather forecast before spreading. Do not apply organic or chemical fertilisers when heavy rain is forecast within the next 48 hours.
Avoid spreading organic or chemical fertiliser:
- on wet or waterlogged ground
- on frozen or snow-covered land
- on land sloping steeply towards rivers, streams, lakes and exposed bedrock
- No Chemical Fertiliser should be applied within 1.5m of any watercourse.
Avoid polluting surface waters and wells by leaving a buffer strip between them and the land on which organic fertilisers are applied. The Table below sets out the general guidance on the widths that may be appropriate for buffer strips. It is essential that the recommended strip widths are observed in the case of domestic wells and public water supply sources. The width of the strip required to streams, lakes/drains and lake/main river channels will depend in each case on soil type, slop, and vegetative cover.
Recommended Buffer Strips in Meters
|Recommended Buffer Strips
|Streams and Drains
|Lakes and Main River Channels
|Public Water Supply Sources
Further information on Agriculture in General can be obtained from the Department of Agriculture @ www.irlgov.ie
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