ARCHIVE: Nitrate Vulnerable Zones (NVZs) - Guidance for Farmers. Field application of manufactured nitrogen fertilisers (Leaflet 9 - PB12736i)


Parts 5 and 6 of the Regulations establish rules which restrict when, where and how you can spread manufactured nitrogen fertilisers to land on your farm. These are summarised below.


  • spread manufactured nitrogen fertiliser during defined closed spreading periods except to specified crops that have a crop nitrogen requirement during the closed period
  • spread manufactured nitrogen fertiliser if there is a significant risk of nitrogen pollution of surface water, or within 2 metres of a surface water


  • carry out a field inspection before spreading manufactured nitrogen fertiliser
  • spread nitrogen fertiliser as accurately as possible

If you are in an NVZ originally designated in 1996 or 2002, you will need to comply with these rules from 1 January 2009. If, however, you are in an NVZ newly designated in the 2008 Regulations, you have until 1 January 2010.

It is important to note that the rules described in this Leaflet apply, where indicated, to both manufactured nitrogen fertilisers and other nitrogen-containing materials (this does not include organic manure, but includes other materials which contain nitrogen such as dredgings from rivers).

You must also make sure, before you apply any manufactured nitrogen fertiliser to a field, that you comply with the rules concerning Planning Nitrogen Use (see Leaflet 6) and the N max limit (see Leaflet 7).

The boxes below describe the rules in more detail and the following paragraphs provide further explanation.

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