Nitrogen cap re-cap

Here is a quick recap on the nitrogen cap regulations that came into play from 1 July 2021.

What is the Nitrogen-Cap?

From 1 July 2021, applying synthetic nitrogen fertiliser to grazed land is limited to 190 kilograms of nitrogen per hectare per year (kgN/ha/yr). You can apply more than this to your annual forage crops, but only if the average across your combined pasture, forage crops and other pastoral use land does not exceed 190 kgN/ha/yr.

What do you need to do?

You need to plan your annual use of synthetic nitrogen fertiliser to stay within the cap. Regional council permission is required to exceed the cap.

From July 2022, you must provide a report to your regional council detailing your use of synthetic nitrogen fertiliser in the past year. You may already provide some of this information through an industry assurance programme with your dairy company but will need to make sure that it meets the nitrogen cap requirements.

Key Links

  • Quick guide for implementing the cap on dairy farms. 
  • Guide for arable cropping, forestry and horticulture.