Northern Ireland farmers now have an extra month to submit their slurry export forms as Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA) extends the deadline from its original date of January 31 until March 1, 2018.

NIEA has introduced a new system this year, allowing farmers to submit records for manure export forms online.

It hopes the new system will make it easier and quicker for farmers, or their agents, to submit records while at the same time reducing the risk of errors, and therefore potential penalties to their 'Basic Payments'.

This online submission of manure export records for non-derogated farms sits alongside the 'CAFRE Nutrient Management Calculators' which farmers are already familiar with and use to calculate their nitrogen loading and storage capacity.

The online process for completion and submission of manure export records can be found online at:

This will take you to the Government Gateway site, where you log in and navigate to the 'CAFRE Nutrient Management Calculators'.

Under the new process, farmers or their advisers should prepare their manure export records for 2017 and submit these online by midnight, March 1.

The extension of the deadline is for this year only.

Action to take now

In order to submit your manure export form by March 1, 2018, farmers - or their agents - will need to register and obtain access to the Government Gateway.

Agent authorisation forms are available online or from local DAERA Direct Offices.

The department explained that previous experience has shown that the submission of records online will mean that the process is easier for farmers and their agents and that the number of errors and potential breaches is "vastly reduced".

However, if farmers have any concerns they should seek further advice from CAFRE; their farming organisation; or agricultural consultant.