Mostly dry weekend ahead to allow farmers make most of spreading season

Farmer spreading slurry in a field
Farmer spreading slurry in a field
Claire Fox

Claire Fox

An overall dry outlook for the weekend should mean slurry and fertiliser spreading season should get off to a positive start, despite some rain forecast for the west.

An overall dry outlook for the weekend should mean slurry and fertiliser spreading season should get off to a positive start, despite some rain forecast for the west.

According to Met Eireann, Friday will be mostly cloudy and dry with the chance of some slight rain or drizzle in the north and east.

While winds are expected to increase conditions are expected to stay on the mild side. Saturday morning may bring some outbreaks of rain but otherwise it looks like there will be a lot of dry, albeit still rather cloudy, weather overall.

Farmers in Zone A which includes Carlow, Cork, Dublin, Kildare, Kilkenny, Laois, Offaly, Tipperary, Waterford, Wicklow and Wexford are allowed to start spreading chemical and organic fertilisers and farmyard manure from January 13 for a 16 week period up until  September 14.

A storage capacity of 16 weeks is required on these farms.

Western and Border Midlands Counties: Clare, Galway, Mayo, Roscommon, Kerry, Meath, Limerick, Westmeath, Sligo and Longford will be permitted to begin spreading chemical fertilisers from January 16 to September 14, organic fertilisers from January 16 to October 14 and farmyard manure from January 16 to October 31. These farms must have a storage capacity of 18 weeks.

Counties in Zone C which are Donegal and Leitrim can start applying chemical fertilisers on February 1 to September 14, organic fertilisers on February 1 to October 14  and farmyard manure on February 1 to October 31. They must have a storage capacity of 20 weeks.

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Cavan and Monaghan which are in Zone C* have thee same application period as Zone C but need a storage capacity of 22 weeks.

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Teagasc Health and Safety Specialist Dr John McNamara warned that vigilance is needed with slurry season getting underway.

“When the slurry spreading season gets under way from 13 January, vigilance is required with this operation. Power shaft guards need to be in place, a windy day needs to be selected for slurry agitation and all slurry tank openings need to be guarded to prevent drowning.”

Online Editors