HIGHER VOLUMES than usual of arable fertiliser are now safely over-wintering in store on farm.
But “safely” is a word to be used advisedly as the industry raises concern over the degree to which existing legislation is either understood or followed.
A simple yardstick is the number, or lack of, yellow hazard warning signs at the farm gate where 25 tonnes or more of ammonium nitrate are stored.
These have been a legal requirement since 1990 and should be accompanied by an oxidising substance sign on the store itself, together with notification of the Health and Safety Executive and the fire authority.
There are other legal obligations, especially those for transport which apply only on the public road, and several advisory measures contained in free codes of practice from the HSE or the Agricultural Industries Confederation.
With the yellow signs as visible evidence of compliance so sadly lacking in many areas, there must be concern over the nature of some farm stores.
The new concern of security of fertiliser storage, in addition to safety, has been addressed by a ten point checklist developed by the AIC, the NFU and the National Counter Terrorism Security Office.
Based on common sense, the check points concern keeping fertiliser out of view, secure and recorded.
Paying attention to such stewardship could well stave off further legislation and bureaucracy whilst contributing to security.
The leaflets should be on most farms already.
CURRENT PRICES (£/t)
Nitrogen (Domestic) N (SP5) 34.5%
Domestic AN Spring
Imported AN Lithuan
Feb £158.50 Mar £160
No market yet
Jan (add £3 for March)
|Trace elements||0.24.24||TSP (47%P2O5)||Muriate of|
|Copper, zinc, selenium,|
cobalt Iodine and sodium Per acre pack £11.10
Benchmark prices. Compounds out of season.
Urea, existing stocks only
CAN, large price variations
(dependant on source and quality)
€200 import blend
*Note in the Republic of Ireland nutrients are expressed as elements not oxides. Analyses will not be directly comparable with those used in the UK.
Note All illustrated prices are based upon 24 tonne loads for immediate payment. Prices for smaller loads and those with credit terms will vary considerably.