Rule reminder – September nitrate vulnerable zone dates

The nitrate vulnerable zone (NVZ) closed period began on 1 September for applying organic manure with a high readily available nitrogen content (such as slurry, poultry manure or liquid digested sewage sludge) to grassland on shallow or sandy soils.

Organic manures with a high readily available nitrogen content are defined as those where more than 30% of the total N content is in a form easily used by plants.

See also: More on NVZ compliance

Mid-September brings further manure and manufactured fertiliser application restrictions:

  • 15 September Start of the closed period for applying manufactured nitrogen fertilisers to grassland for any land located in an NVZ.
  • 16 September For any NVZ land, this is the start of the closed period for applying organic manure with a high readily available nitrogen content to tillage land on shallow or sandy soils that have been sown with crops on or before 15 September.

More detailed guidance, including exceptions to the NVZ closed periods, is available on the government’s Farming Advice Service website (PDF).

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