Calls for 'common sense' approach to new slurry rules

Ciaran Moran

Ciaran Moran

The ICMSA are calling on the Department to adopt a common-sense approach to new slurry spreading rules for farmers operating with a nitrates derogation.

Over 7000 farmers are in a nitrates derogation, the majority of these are dairy farmers.

The new rules applied to the derogation this year insist that farmers in a derogation must have over 50pc of their slurry spread by the 15 June this June.

The ICMSA says given the spring farmers have had many farmers will find it impossible to abide by this rule.

“Only now are farmers finding their feet, but grass growth is still well behind and the silage growing season will be delayed despite our best efforts” said Denis Drennan, Chairman of the Farm and Rural Affairs Committee “we want to use our slurry effectively and apply it after the first cut of silage.

"There’s no point in spreading slurry on heavy covers just to meet a calendar date”.

The ICMSA are looking for the deadline to be extended by one month.

"We need to build silage stock for next year and many will be banking on a bumper second cut to replenish stocks.

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"Spreading slurry after the first cut is an ideal time to get the vast bulk of the slurry out this year and should give the second cut the extra boost it needs," concluded Drennan.

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