The Chairman of the ICMSA’s Farm Services and Environment Committee, Mr. Patrick Rohan, has called on Environment Minister Phil Hogan and Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney to defer the start of the closed period for chemical fertiliser and slurry application beyond their current dates of September 15 and October 15.
“It’s plain that the atrocious weather conditions over the past few months have significantly hindered farmers’ ability to get any slurry or chemical fertiliser spread. Ground conditions in many areas have are extremely poor and completely water-logged. Silage making has been severely hampered which will inevitably result in fodder shortages over the coming winter months. ICMSA believes that if the weather were to improve over the next few weeks then farmers would be anxious to utilise as much grass as possible and extend the grazing season”, said the Farm Services Chairman.
In asking for the deferral, Mr. Rohan emphasised the importance of an early decision on this matter because he stated that farmers need to be able to plan for the year ahead and need to be able to make an informed decision at this stage.