Calls continue to mount for slurry-spreading deadline extension

The Irish Cattle and Sheep Farmers’ Association (ICSA) has become the latest farmer association to demand an extension to the open period for slurry spreading.

The final date for slurry spreading is next Tuesday, October 15; however, several farmer groups have urged the Government ministers responsible to extend that period, due to the adverse weather conditions for spreading in recent weeks and months.

Tim Farrell, the rural development chairperson for the ICSA, reiterated that point, saying that an extension was “now a requirement”, and that a decision must be made.

Weather conditions have not improved to a point whereby slurry can be effectively spread over the weekend.

“The responsibility ultimately lies with the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government, Eoghan Murphy. I would urge him to liaise with Minister [for Agriculture] Michael Creed at this critical time and make a prudent decision given the circumstances we are in,” Farrell added.

“Ground conditions remain unsuitable, and we need to ensure that damaging ‘panic spreading’ is prevented,” he urged.

Similar calls

There have been similar calls from several other quarters in recent days.

According to Joe Healy, the president of the Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA), the looming deadline was “causing distress” for farmers.

I have asked Minister Creed to address the immediate and growing difficulty facing farm families who, for the past number of weeks – and in some instances, months – have been unable to spread slurry due to poor weather and ground conditions.

Meanwhile, the Irish Creamery Milk Suppliers’ Association (ICMSA) urged the Government to adopt a “common sense and reasonable approach” to the issue.

“I’ll just point out that right now farmers are beset and besieged by factors that are completely beyond our control and the slurry-spreading deadline can be added to the long list… Can we not do something sensible and practical that is within our power?” said Denis Drennan, the ICMSA’s farm and rural affairs chairperson.

Independent TD for Tipperary Mattie McGrath also weighed in, calling the deadline an “unnecessary frustration”, and saying that he had received a “significant number” of calls in relation to the situation.