Farm Ireland
Independent.ie

Monday 17 December 2018

'Creating a last minute panic is a safety risk': Contractors demand slurry spreading extension

Ciaran Moran

Ciaran Moran

 

Farm contractors are calling for planned and orderly extension of the farm animal slurry land-spreading dates beyond the current October 15 deadline for 2018 as well as the mineral fertilizer spreading dates beyond the current September 15 deadline.

The Association of Farm & Forestry Contractors in Ireland (FCI), the national association representing farm and forestry contractors in Ireland, has requested that the Minster for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed, TD., give urgent and immediate attention to the need for consultation with the Ministers for Communications, Climate Change and the Environment, and Minister for Housing, Planning & Local Government on the issue.

FCI is requesting Minister Creed to put in place a temporary one month extension of the animal slurry land spreading date, to give a new closing date of November 15, 2018 and a temporary one month extension to the mineral fertilizer spreading date to October 15, 2018.

This will provide Farm Contractors with an opportunity, weather and ground conditions permitting, to complete land-spreading activities that for reasons outside of their control, have been curtailed during the last two months due to the exceptional dry weather conditions that Irish farmers and FCI members have experienced.

Richard White, FCI National Chairman said, “Postponing the decision to extend the slurry and fertilizer spreading deadline dates to the last minute will only increase the health and safety risks on farms in a year when we have already reported a very high national level of farm accidents and fatalities. Creating a last minute panic and an expectation that the slurry must be spread before the October 15 deadline, against the backdrop of more than 10 weeks of exceptionally dry weather conditions, can be considered to be tantamount to creating an additional and unnecessary health and safety risk on many farms.”

FCI is urging Minster Creed to put in place these very necessary land-spreading date extension concessions for this year, in order to alleviate further significant hardship for farmers. FCI believes that planned extension dates will allow our Farm Contractor members to complete their land-spreading operations, in safety and with due efficacy, on behalf of farming customers.

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