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It’s that time of the year again and farmers are wondering what fertilisers to apply to ensure early grass growth and try to take full advantage of the favourable weather and ground conditions presently. The passing of the date restriction under the Nitrate Regulations (S.I. No. 65 of 2018) is now upon us where we can apply N (Nitrogen) & P (Phosphorus) once again. However, it is well worth to remember these restrictions do not apply to Lime & K (Potassium) and you can apply these nutrients the year round once conditions are favourable.  Take note of your zones below for N & P and adhere to application dates.


Storage Periods for Manure

Prohibited Application Periods 



Chemical Fertilisers

Organic Fertilisers




15th of Sept – 12 th of Jan

15th of Oct – 12th of Jan

1st of Nov – 12th of Jan



15th of Sept – 15th of Jan

15th of Oct – 15th of Jan

1st of Nov – 15th of Jan

C Donegal & Leitrim


15th of Sept – 31st of Jan

15th of Oct – 31st of Jan

1st of Nov – 31st of Jan

C* Cavan & Monaghan


15th of Sept – 31st of Jan

15th of Oct – 31st of Jan

1st of Nov – 31st of Jan

What to apply?

Apply up to 30 kg/ha for early grass. Nitrogen can be applied as inorganic in the form of Urea and CAN or organic in the case of cattle slurry and FYM. It may be opportune to use cattle slurry for your first grazing especially if tanks are filling up.  Applying slurry of 7% DM @ 2000 gls/ac will be equivalent to 10-10-60 of bag nutrient but it is wise to do your own slurry analysis to hand as this can vary. To get best value from nitrogen it is wise to use trailing shoe or band spreader and it also reduces grass contamination. It is best practice to reserve your slurry for the silage ground where you have much greater need for nutrient replacement.

When to apply? 

Grass growth takes place once you get soil temperatures between 5 & 6 degrees. Currently, there is grass growth with temperatures running 2 degrees above normal and mostly with the absence of frost. Given the good conditions presently it is wise to contemplate the application of Nitrogen for early grass. You will get the best response from nitrogen applied once the P, K and Lime status of your soil is in order.

Farmers should be taking advantage of our mild weather and start the application of nitrogen to encourage early grass growth. Teagasc research has shown that every 1 kg of Nitrogen applied in early spring gives in the region of 10 Kg/DM of grass This can be a significant saving to the farmer.  

To learn more about the Target Fertilisers’ product range, click here

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