The closed period for slurry will begin a week earlier than usual this year, on October 8.

In recent years the closed period has begun on October 15, and runs until January 12, for Zone A; January 15, for Zone B; and January 31 for Zone C.

As we head towards the final two weeks of the open season, farmers are reminded that the buffer zones for surface water doubles.

During the first and final two weeks of the open season of slurry, the buffer zone is increased to 10m from 5m.

This means that farmers that have surface water on/or bordering their land are required to double the buffer zone.

Slurry safety

With the closed period starting a week earlier than previous years, there may be a bit of a rush to empty tanks.

The prolonged dry weather experienced by large parts of the country meant that slurry spreading was not possible.

This may mean, that on some farms, there is more slurry in tanks than usual for this time of year.

It is possible that this slurry has been undisturbed for a number of months so farmers should be on high alert by mixing and spreading.

It is important that farmers remember to keep safety in mind when spreading slurry.

Safety guidelines when spreading slurry:

  • Agitate on windy days;
  • Remove all livestock and control pets;
  • Open all doors and control access;
  • Agitate/ventilate and stay away for 30 minutes;
  • Work upwind at all times;
  • Do not enter tanks – even when empty;
  • Keep tank openings secure at all times;
  • If possible, avoid agitating alone.

Farming can be dangerous but measures can be taken to reduce the risk posed to farmers.