Nutrient Management

Use of zoonotic fertilisers

The following rules apply to the use of zoonotic fertilisers:

  • liquid manure and slurry should be applied to unploughed soil, preferably in early spring.
  • cocklebur can be applied to stubble, to catch crops for ploughing, to winter crops at low doses so that the plants do not over-exuberate, and in spring, taking special care to mix it into the soil, protecting the seedlings from burning.
  • tThey should be applied evenly over the entire field, and should not be applied to fields and crops that are not intended for this purpose.
  • fFertilisation within a short temporal distance of soil liming should be avoided.
  • fertilisers in liquid form are applied using soil applicators, sprinklers or slurry tankers equipped with splash plates or spill hoses.
  • liquid fertilisers must be covered or mixed into the soil no later than the day following their application (with the exception of fertilisers applied to grassland).
  • natural fertilisers in liquid form shall be applied by law between 1 March and 30 November (with the exception of fertilisers used under covers).
  • the nutritional needs of the plants and the nutrient richness of the soil should be taken into account when determining fertiliser rates.
  • the amount of manure applied in a year may not exceed 170 kg of nitrogen (N) in pure component per hectare of farmland (e.g. the converted annual application of slurry should not exceed 45 m3/ha).
  • it is forbidden to apply fertiliser on soils that are flooded, covered with snow, frozen to a depth of 30 cm and during rainfall.
  • the use of liquid manures on soils without a plant cover, on slopes with a gradient of more than 10% and during the vegetation of plants intended for direct human consumption is prohibited.
  • natural fertilisers in liquid form can be used when the groundwater level is below 1.2 m and only outside areas of shallow fractured rock.
  • slurry shall be applied to agricultural land at least 10 m from the shore of: lakes, reservoirs, watercourses, canals and ditches (excluding ditches up to 5 m wide).

The regulations come from:

Many practical tips can be found in the comments at

When fertilising fields in close proximity to surface water and drinking water sources, water protection zones, special rules for fertiliser application are required. This applies to the doses, type and form of fertiliser, fertilisation equipment and even the course of the weather at the time of their spreading or spreading. Within 10 m of surface watercourses and reservoirs, water protection zones and the maritime coastal strip, organic fertilisers of animal origin may not be applied and mineral fertilisers should be spread by hand. Pastures in the immediate vicinity of the shoreline of surface waters should not be overloaded with too many animals. Watering holes should not be located directly on a reservoir or watercourse. When fertilising fields located near watercourses and bodies of water, there is an increased risk of contamination by nitrates from fertilisers. The Nitrates Directive was introduced into Polish law by the Act of 20 July 2017. Water Law (Journal of Laws 2017, item 1566, as amended), which indicates remedial measures to reduce nitrogen run-off from agricultural sources.

Any fertiliser applied on water-logged, snow-covered or frozen soils suffers significant and uncontrolled mineral losses. On superficially frozen soils, fertilisers may possibly be applied during periods of thaw if organisational or agrotechnical reasons justify it. This applies in particular to the first spring application of nitrogen fertiliser on winter crops. Soils with a high water table (less than 1.2 m below the surface) have a lower water holding capacity. They are therefore more prone to flooding and the application of fertilisers there requires particular care and skill. The use of organic fertilisers in liquid form is not recommended here, and nitrogen fertilisers should be applied immediately before the period of maximum plant demand for this nutrient. On arable land with high groundwater and on grassland with groundwater less than 1 m below the surface, fertilisation with sewage and sewage sludge is prohibited. The Regulation of the Minister of the Environment (Journal of Laws 2003.4.44) indicates remedial measures to reduce nitrogen runoff from agricultural sources when applying fertilisers on waterlogged, flooded, frozen and snow-covered soils.

The application of fertilisers to fields located on slopes, especially those with a slope greater than 10% (6°), requires special attention as the mineral components from the fertilisers, especially phosphorus and nitrogen compounds, are exposed to surface run-off and may enter surface waters, causing pollution. Organic fertilisers in liquid form and mineral nitrogen fertilisers must not be applied to fields with a slope of more than 10% (6°) if the fields are not under vegetative cover. The extent of surface run-off depends on the slope as well as the intensity of rainfall and the granulometric composition of the soil, the way it is tilled and the type of plant cover. On arable land located on slopes with a gradient of less than 10%, organic fertilisers in liquid form should be incorporated below the soil surface if possible, and solid fertilisers mixed into the soil immediately after spreading.

The use of organic liquid fertilisers, such as slurry or manure, is prohibited throughout the growing season of plants intended for direct human consumption. This prohibition is due to the risk of supplying the edible parts of the plants with contaminating (microbiological) agents that are not eliminated during the growth of the plants.

The use of fresh, undigested manure is not advisable for fertiliser reasons. Also for organisational reasons, it is necessary to store it.

The optimum time for manure application, especially on lighter soils, is early spring. Manure can also be exported in late autumn, but on heavier soils and provided it is ploughed in the next day at the latest. Manure export in late summer or early autumn should be avoided because of possible nitrogen losses both in gaseous form (ammonia) and in the form of seepage into groundwater (nitrates). The post-harvest application of solid organic fertilisers is only permitted on grassland and perennial field crops. The annual application rate of manure should not exceed 40 tonnes, which corresponds to a limit of 170 kg N per hectare.