The ICBF Nitrates Band screen is now available to ALL dairy farmers on ICBF for their 2024 online submissions. The screen allows dairy farmers to determine the milk kgs/cow band for new nitrates requirements. The banding screen went live last year for the first time to enable dairy farmers to submit the milk kgs band for their herds.

In 2023, 14,849 dairy farmers submitted their milk kgs cow band via ICBF. The table above outline the options selected in 2023.

The table above displays the breakdown of each herd milk kg cow band & equivalent organic N kgs/per cow.

Dairy farmers will have the choice of 3 main options to determine their cow band for 2024;

Dairy Band Options 2024

Option 1:            Select the rolling average for the three preceding years (2021, 2022, 2023),

Option 2:            Select previous year for milk supply (2023)

Option 3:             Select to use the herd’s 2024 average milk yield– available to new entrant dairy herds only

*  New Entrant Dairy farmers should note their dairy cows will remain defaulted to 106 organic N/cow until 2024. Milk and Animal Data & Crude Protein % can be verified by DAFM in 2025 if selecting option 3.

* Milk density factor: 1.0297 ratio factor used to convert between volume in litres and kilograms of milk, i.e., 1 litre corresponds to 1.0297 kg of milk.

ICBF calculates the band by combining milk supply data from the co-op and dividing average cow numbers on the farm throughout the year. Dairy farmers who receive the Dairy Herd Performance Report will have their milk supply data available to submit their cow band to DAFM.

Banding Screens

Farmers will also be able to review their average annual cow numbers and milk supply details before submitting their cow band to DAFM. Only the cow band will be submitted to DAFM (milk supply data will not be transferred to DAFM).

Dairy farmers can share their cow band with the DAFM by clicking on the ‘Submit to DAFM’ button on the screen. This data will not be transferred to DAFM without the farmer/advisor clicking the submit button. Dairy farmers are encouraged to use this system to submit their data, as all the calculations are automatically generated on their behalf.

What’s new for 2024?

Dairy farmers can select what percentage of crude protein they wish to feed their dairy cows in 2024. A new facility is available for online submission on the ICBF Nitrates Band screen for 2024. Crude protein percentage is calculated on a year-round average based on fresh weight of crude protein.

Farmers must retain feed invoices, which DAFM may request to verify crude protein percentage concentrates fed to dairy cows. This will impact the level of organic N/cow produced in the year. See the table below.

Farmers will be able to select in accordance with their cow band; what level of crude protein % feed for their dairy cows for 2024

Farmers are recommended to discuss with their agricultural adviser on what is the appropriate average level of crude protein % (fresh weight basis) for their dairy cows for 2024 before making banding submission on ICBF.

How do I access my nitrates band screen on ICBF?

Every herd owner has a username and password, which they are required to access their ICBF account on www.icbf.com. If a farmer doesn’t know their password, they can request a new temporary one by texting Pass to 089-4577663, by emailing [email protected] or by contacting the HerdPlus Team at 023-8820452.

Please note: nitrates band screen is available on the desktop version (log into ICBF from laptop or PC) under the “Applications” menu items.

What if I have no Milk Data on ICBF?

Dairy farmers who do not have milk supply data available on ICBF (farmers may be supplying milk to niche cheese/ice cream/yoghurt/organic dairy companies) can submit their completed Milk Purchaser Statements and supporting documentation. This will enable DAFM to confirm the dairy herd’s nitrates cow band. Further information on this option includes a paper Milk Purchaser form available for completion on the DAFM website.

A Frequently Asked Questions document is available, which should address most nitrates banding queries. Please click here to view:

DAFM (Nitrates Section) can be contacted by emailing [email protected] or calling 053-9163425.

Dairy farmers and advisers are reminded that the closing date for dairy banding submissions is April 19th 2024. If there are any queries about the ICBF nitrates band screen, these can be forwarded by email to [email protected] or call 023-8820452.