Farmers looking for slurry spreading flexibility will be prioritised by Local Authorities - Creed

Ciaran Moran

Ciaran Moran

The Minister for Agriculture, Michael Creed has reassured farmers that as long as they have the required slurry storage capacity, they should be not concerned to ask to avail of new flexibility to spread during the closed period.

The closed period for slurry spreading as provided for in the regulations commenced on October 15.

Taking account of the high rainfall in the lead up to the commencement of the closed period, the authorities recognised that there may be some concerns for animal welfare and introduced new measures for farmers which had slurry tanks already at full capacity.

Farmers with such concerns were advised to contact the Nitrates Section of the Department of Agriculture.

Farmers wishing to avail of flexibility for spreading slurry were advised:

  • To spread only that volume of slurry necessary to ensure adequate storage capacity for the remainder of the closed period.
  • That any spreading should occur as soon as good spreading conditions exist.
  • That the Nitrates Section of my Department will subsequently contact the farmers to confirm the dates on which this additional spreading takes place.

However, Minister Creed also said that the farmers availing of the slurry spreading flexibility would be prioritised for inspection by Local Authorities.

This week, in response to questioning on the issue Minster Creed, highlighted that Ireland is currently negotiating the next Nitrates Action Programme and Nitrates Derogation and it is critical that these negotiations progress positively.

“We must avoid the difficulties encountered in other Member states such as Holland.

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“In this context and to ensure the protection of water, the course of action above is aimed at satisfying both objectives in a targeted way.

“Those farmers with the required storage capacity and who wish to avail of this flexibility should not have reason for concern,” he said.

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