Farm Ireland

Wednesday 20 June 2018

‘The people who made this decision have no clue about farming’ – Slurry ban slammed as wet weather continues

Ciaran Moran

Ciaran Moran

A decision by authorities not to extend the period in which farmers can spread slurry on their land has been strongly criticised.

Many farmers have been unable to empty slurry tanks due to wet ground conditions in advance of the an October 15 deadline.

Independent TD for Roscommon-Galway, Michael Fitzmaurice said the decision was reckless in the extreme and that it was a further indication that there are many in Government who simply do not understand Rural Ireland, the farming community and how to deal with the problems they are facing.

"The reality now is that slurry will be spread on wet land and with the heavy rain we had on Wednesday and more forecast in the days to come, the possibility is that slurry will escape into rivers and drains around the country damaging the environment that we are constantly trying to protect.

“Obviously the people who made this decision know nothing about farming or Rural Ireland or the problems that farmers have had with bad weather over the past month or six weeks"

"Even the most up to date technology using the pipe system for spreading will not work in the current conditions, Cattle have been inside since August began and tanks are full and now the Department are expecting farmers to spread slurry on unsuitable land that will threaten water quality. 

Photo: Robert Jones
Photo: Robert Jones

“Even if the weather cleared up today the ground conditions would not be dried up in time for the deadline.

“The people who made this decision have not got a clue what is going on here and I am once again appealing to them to extend this deadline not only in the interests of farmers but in the interests in the Environment as whole.

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“I am also asking the farming organisations to lobby as hard as they can to have this deadline extended as well."

Meanwhile, Met Eireann has forecast another unsettled weekend as with ex-hurricanes in the Atlantic making details uncertain at this stage over Ireland.

Hard-pressed agricultural contractors and farmers have called for a two-week extension to the slurry-spreading deadline as the continuing heavy rain plays havoc with farm work.

The contractors want a temporary 16-day extension to the spreading dates for slurry, which generally closes on October 15, to allow land-spreading up to October 31 this year.

The call comes as contractors struggle to finish the grain harvest across areas of the midlands, east Connacht and Donegal.

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