Total fertiliser sales increased by 6% in 2021 to 1.7 million tonnes, new figures from the Central Statistics Office (CSO) show.
The new release from the CSO – which the body published this morning (Tuesday, July 19th, 2022) – contains data on fertiliser sales from 2000-2021.
According to its latest publication, the nitrogen content of fertilisers sold in 2021 was 5% higher than the previous year at 399,164 tonnes.
According to the CSO, there were 122,922 tonnes of potassium (K) in fertilisers sold in 2021, which was 4% higher than in 2020.
The phosphorus (P) content of fertilisers sold in 2021 was up 4% on 2020 at 46,068 tonnes.
Meanwhile, lime sales doubled in 2021 to 1.3 million tonnes.
In the crop year from October 2020 to September 2021, the CSO reports that 52% of fertiliser sales took place in the three months from January to March 2021.
Commenting on the release, Clare O’Hara, a statistician in the environment and climate division of the CSO, said:
“Quarterly sales data can give an indication of the time of year of greatest fertiliser use.”
“Between 2015 and 2021, at least 75% of fertiliser sales took place between January and June. Only 2-4% occurred in October to December.”
“In 2021, 52% of fertiliser sales were in January to March. Loss of nutrients to the environment is affected by the amount of rainfall at the time of fertiliser application.”
Tonnes of nutrient
The CSO reports that nitrogen content was 407,598 tonnes in 2000. Moreover, it dropped to its lowest level in 2011 at 295,795 tonnes.
It was highest in 2018 at 408,495 tonnes. Meanwhile, in 2021, there were 399,164 tonnes of nitrogen in fertilisers sold in Ireland.
Phosphorus content was highest in 2000, lowest in 2009 and increased again to 46,068 tonnes in 2021.
Potassium content was at its lowest in 2009 and at its highest in 2021 at 122,922 tonnes.
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