Farm Ireland

Monday 18 December 2017

'Slurry splash plates won't be banned for foreseeable future'

Margaret Donnelly

Margaret Donnelly

There is no end date envisaged for the end of splash plates, ICMSA President John Comer has said, following a meeting with the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment.

Speaking following a meeting with senior officials of the Department, in relation to the rules on applying organic fertilisers to land and, specifically,  on concerns around a possible end to the use of splash plate, the President of ICMSA has expressed confidence that no such end date is envisaged and the continued use of splash plates is accepted by officials on the basis of the nature and structure of Irish farming.

Comer said that ending the use of splash plates would present an insurmountable problem for many small family farms in rural Ireland who are already struggling to survive and would actually amount to another ‘nail in the coffin’ for the type of farm that backboned the rural economy in many areas of the state. 

He said that it was simply a fact that the cost associated with alterative equipment is beyond most farmers’ financial capabilities, even with current levels of grant aid. In addition, given the production systems in Ireland where, for example, many farms use baled silage, the splash plate is the only viable option at this time as the alternative systems available do not work in practical farm situations.

“ICMSA believes that the current measures being adopted under GLAS and TAMS – with some further enhancements - and through information campaigns on the most appropriate time to spread organic fertiliser will enable Ireland to meet the EU targets set for us and we won’t need other measures. We particularly won’t need to consider obviously unworkable measures such as a future date for the banning of the splash plate”, he said.

“I’m very confident that the Department officials understood the practical impossibility of a ban on the use of splash plates and ICMSA trusts that such a unrealistic and unworkable proposal will not be implemented by the Department”, concluded the ICMSA President.

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