Nitrogen Discharge Allowances FAQs

Your Nitrogen Discharge Allowance (NDA) sets out the allowable rate of nitrogen loss for your property. This rate must be achieved by 2032. Many options were investigated to determine how to allocate NDAs to properties.

At this stage, the NDA allocation method uses nitrogen loss ranges for the dairy and drystock sectors. The range is based on a combination of previous nitrogen losses from a property (the property’s Rule 11 benchmark) and how the land is used (dairy, drystock or trees).

The current proposal is that 2001/04 benchmarking forms the basis of the NDA. If your property was not within the surface water boundary and you did not receive a benchmark, but you are located within the ground water boundary then an NDA will be allocated based on the sector averages. 

The NDA will be calculated using the sector average of the farm sector which the property is in – generally based on 2001/04 land use.

The process of confirming the rules could change the way the NDA is calculated so the provisional will not become final until the rules are agreed and become fully operative.

If the property has a benchmark and the proposed rules become operative the pNDA and final NDA  figures will be the same. The NDA will be expressed as a percentage of the reference files to maintain a proportional target for properties over time.