Farm Ireland
Independent.ie

Monday 23 October 2017

Farmers slam 'calendar farming' as winter weather puts slurry spreading on hold

From this week farmers across most of the country are allowed to spread slurry once again. Photo: Roger Jones
From this week farmers across most of the country are allowed to spread slurry once again. Photo: Roger Jones
Ciaran Moran

Ciaran Moran

The Department of Agriculture is being called on to adopt a more 'common sense' approach to slurry spreading dates as the current winter weather puts slurry spreading on hold.

From this week farmers across most of the country are allowed to spread slurry once again.

Farmers in Zone A can commence spreading from tomorrow, with farmers in Zones B and C permitted to commence after 15 January and 31 January respectively (see image below).

However, ICSA rural development chairman Seamus Sherlock said “calendar farming restrictions for slurry spreading are proving unworkable and unrealistic and most frustrating for farmers".

Focusing on this week’s inclement weather Sherlock said many parts of the country are experiencing weather conditions which are completely incompatible to slurry spreading.

“It may be weeks before conditions improve by which time many important farming schedules will have been delayed.

“On the contrary, the milder and dryer weather over the last number of weeks would have been ideal, yet our hands were tied.

slurry spreading season 2.PNG

"At all times, farmers are working and planning with a close eye on the weather and ground conditions in order to comply with best farming practice in terms of efficiency, animal welfare and environmental concerns.

Also Read


"Fixed artificial deadlines at the beginning and end of the slurry spreading season goes against all that, and the legislators must surely recognise the wisdom in being more flexible on this issue,” he said.

The restrictions are in place as research has shown that prohibited periods are necessary to prevent nutrient loss to water during the most environmentally risky time of the year.

The laws which were brought in under the Nitrates Directive have been a cause of anger amongst the farming community.

The Status Orange weather warning remains in place this morning in counties Cavan, Monaghan, Donegal, Leitrim, Mayo and Sligo as Met Eireann predict a cold and frosty morning with snow and ice.

Forecasters have also issued a Status Yellow warning for snow and ice for the rest of the country. Both warnings will remain in place until 6pm.

It is set to be a bright day, but the country can expect scattered wintry showers, occurring mostly along western coastal counties, and north-west strong and gusty winds.

Online Editors