P inputs must fall
IRISH producers must cut phosphorus inputs by 50% over the next five years under new government guidelines, while application recomm-endations have also been rejigged in an effort to cut pollution risks.
According to Sean Ryan, farm environment specialist with Irish advisory body Teagsac, soil tests have shown that many farms have an adequate P index, and he estimates that Irish producers could save £20m-£25m a year on inputs.
"Farms in the top 25% of soils analysed could cut phosphorus bills by at least £1000 without affecting output."
Mr Ryan said many producers had continued to apply P fertiliser without taking slurry and manure inputs into account. "We are encouraging producers to have soil tested and draw up a nutrient plan, taking stocking density, output and inputs into account."
Application guidelines drawn up after the war, when soil fertility was poor, had also been rehashed.