5 July 2002

NVZ timing important

NEW nitrate vulnerable zone regulations have more to do with nitrogen timing than rates on arable farms, say fertiliser manufacturers.

The extension of the controls from Dec 19, 2002 means more farmers must look critically at the timing of their nitrogen fertiliser application, says the Fertiliser Manufacturers Association.

But amounts used need not be affected, provided good practice is being followed. "NVZs are not about banning nitrogen fertilisers, they are about the sensible use of an essential plant nutrient," says deputy director general Jane Salter. "The main challenge is having the records to demonstrate it."

Provided growers take into account the soil nutrient status and other nutrient sources, there are no restrictions on total amounts of nitrogen fertiliser used, she says. &#42