Mitigation measures and best management practices
The Good Agricultural Practice (GAP) package of measures by the Irish authorities is in legislation since 2006. These include a minimum storage requirement for all animal manures and soiled water. Buffer strips for water courses (2m – 200m) are obliged and there are “Closed periods” for landspreading (fertiliser: 15 Sep - 12/31Jan; slurry: 15 Oct - 12/31Jan; FYM: 1 Nov - 12/31Jan). There are also restrictions on the maximum input of nitrogen from livestock manure (170 kg organic N ha-1 y-1) and on the maximum fertilization rates (based on crop requirement). Furthermore no external nutrient inputs are allowed on the most critical soils (P index 4).