The new nitrates band screen is now available to ALL dairy farmers on ICBF.

Please note: For optimum visibility/functionality, the Nitrates Banding screen is available on the Desktop version ONLY. We recommend using a PC or laptop to access the screens. If you are using a phone or tablet, ensure to switch over to the desktop version.

The nitrates band screen allows dairy farmers to determine which milk kgs/cow band their herd falls into for the purpose of the new nitrates requirements .

* Milk density factor: 1.02969 ratio factor used to convert between volume in litres and kilograms of milk, i.e., 1 litre of milk corresponds to 1.02969 kg of milk.

ICBF calculate a nitrates band for each dairy herd by combining milk supply data from the Co-Op and dividing by the average cow numbers on farm throughout the year. Dairy farmers who receive the Dairy Herd Performance Report will have their milk supply data available on the new band screen and can submit their cow band to DAFM.

Dairy farmers can immediately see on screen what band is applicable to their herd. Dairy farmers/advisers can then select their chosen option of using the average milk kgs produced over the last 3 years (2020-2022) or the most recent year (2022). They can also select the 2023 year to determine milk kgs/cow for the herd as a third option.

Dairy farmers will have the choice of 3 main options to determine their cow band for 2023;

Option 1:            Select the rolling average for the three preceding years (2020, 2021, 2022),

Option 2:            Select previous year for milk supply (2022)

Option 3:             Select to use the herd’s 2023 milk supply data to determine milk kgs/cow*

*  Dairy farmers should note their dairy cows will remain defaulted to 106 organic N/cow until 2023 Milk and Animal Data can be verified by DAFM in 2024, if selecting option 3.

This may indicate a lower band once all the 2023 data becomes fully available or dairy cows may still remain at 106 organic N kgs/cow once final data checks are complete in 2024.

This is a once off transitional measure been made available by DAFM for 2023 only.

New Screen

Farmers will also be able to review their 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 choose to share their cow band with the DAFM by simply 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.  All dairy farmers are encouraged to use this system, as all the calculations are automatically populated on the Nitrates Band screen.

How do I access my nitrates band screen on ICBF?

Every herd owner has a username and password which is required to access their ICBF account on  If a farmer doesn’t know their password, they can request a new temporary one by texting the word Pass to 089-4577663, by emailing [email protected] or by contacting the HerdPlus Team on 023-8820452. This text method will operate for the mobile number recorded on the ICBF database for the respective herd number i.e. the number that receives BVD/ICBF SMS messages.

Note: Nitrates Band screen is available on the desktop version (log into ICBF from laptop or PC) under the “Applications” menu items.

What are the advantages of the ICBF Nitrates Band Screen Option?

The ICBF Nitrates Screen Option provides a number of advantages from a farmer, milk purchaser and DAFM perspective.

  • The farmer can immediately see what band is applicable depending on their chosen option of using the average yield over the preceding three years or the most recent year.
  • The ICBF Screen Option minimises the burden on the farmer, the milk purchaser and DAFM. Farmers will be able to use it each year to confirm their band.

No Milk Data On ICBF – DAFM option

For dairy farmers who do not have milk supply data available on ICBF (i.e. supplying niche dairy companies for cheese/ice cream/yogurt/organic), these will have the option of submitting completed Milk Purchaser Statement and supporting documentation to DAFM, to confirm their nitrates cow band. Further information on this DAFM option, including a template for completion is available on the DAFM website.

DAFM (nitrates section) can be contacted in relation to this DAFM option by emailing: [email protected] or calling 053-9163425.

Stock Ready Reckoner


Also located on the new nitrates band screen is a handy Stock Ready Reckoner where Dairy HerdPlus farmers can project total organic N produced on farm for 2023 and enter their total hectares to calculate overall farm organic/ha. This online tool should assist both farmers and advisers in nitrates compliance decisions for the year ahead.

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

DAFM will be issuing a letter shortly by post to all dairy farmers in relation to their Cow Band options for the year ahead.

Please be aware that dairy farmers/advisers  will have only one chance annually to submit their cow band to DAFM from the new band screen.  Therefore, it’s important to review all data carefully prior to submission. The deadline for submission is Friday, March 31st 2023. If there are any queries in relation to the ICBF nitrates band screen, these can be forwarded by email to; [email protected] or call 023-8820452.