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

1. Closed spreading periods

The Regulations establish a ‘closed period’ that prohibits the spreading of manufactured nitrogen fertiliser to land at times of the year when there is a high risk of nitrate loss.

YOU MUST NOT spread manufactured nitrogen fertiliser between the following dates:


Tillage land

15 September to 15 January

1 September to 15 January

Applications during the closed period will be permitted to the following crops up to a maximum permitted rate (see Table 6 in Leaflet 3):

winter oilseed rape; asparagus; brassica; grass; overwintered salad onions; parsley; and bulb onions.

Applications to other crops during the closed period are permitted on the basis of written advice from a FACTS qualified adviser.

If you apply manufactured nitrogen fertiliser during the closed period you should make sure that its use was identified as necessary in your four-step plan of nitrogen use (see Leaflet 6).

The use of solution fertilisers, which all contain some nitrogen, will be permitted during the closed period where there is a requirement for phosphate or potash and there is no practical alternative.

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