Across the globe, regulatory restrictions are being instituted to protect ground and surface waters from nitrate contamination. The Nitrates Directive (1991) from the European Union is a good example of legislative instruments intended to protect water quality by promoting the use of good farming practices. Under this directive, all Member States have an obligation to identify zones within their territories that are vulnerable to nitrates (NVZ), and establish codes of good farming practices for growers to adopt. The best management agricultural practices promoted to farmers vary by Member States but they all have components that focus on the management of nitrogen fertilizer on farms.
Typically these practices include:
As Member States continue to assess their compliance with the Nitrates Directive, further measures that will impact crop protection activities can be anticipated to be introduced.