Given the dry and warm conditions over the last week, farmers in many parts of the country are thankfully able to spread some slurry on land apart from counties Cavan, Donegal, Leitrim and Monaghan who are not allowed to spread until 15 January. This is unfair and where weather and ground conditions are suitable, farmers in these counties should also be allowed to spread slurry immediately, according to Patrick Rohan, Chairperson of Farm Services & Environment Committee.
Given the uncertainty over weather and the fact that livestock were housed for very long periods in 2012, farmers need to take every opportunity to spread slurry when weather and ground conditions are suitable. The calendar based restriction still in place in these counties is preventing these farmers from spreading and the ban should be lifted immediately. This small gesture of a few days, would recognise the improved weather conditions and would acknowledge the pressures on farmers at this time.
Mr Rohan also stated that farmers do not have to notify the Department that they intend to spread slurry. There has been confusion on this matter as in November 2012, farmers had to notify the Department. There is no such requirement in 2013 and farmers can spread slurry without notification but have to wait until Mid January in Zone C. The Department also confirmed to ICMSA that farmers in Zones A and B can store farmyard manure on land from 1 January 2013 and 15 January 2013 in Zone C.