‘Common-sense’ derogation slurry extension called for

A one-month extension is being sought to slurry requirements for derogation farmers by the Irish Creamery Milk Suppliers’ Association (ICMSA).

Over 7,000 farmers are in a nitrates derogation, of which the majority are dairy farmers, according to the organisation.

The ICMSA is calling on the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine to adopt a “common-sense approach” and extend this deadline.

Speaking on the matter, Denis Drennan, chairman of the Farm and Rural Affairs Committee said: “Only now are farmers finding their feet, but grass growth is still well behind and the silage growing season will be delayed despite our best efforts.

We want to use our slurry effectively and apply it after the first cut of silage,” the chairman said.

There’s no point in spreading slurry on heavy covers just to meet a calendar date.

The new rules applied to granting the derogation this year require farmers in a derogation to have over 50% of their slurry spread by June 15 next.

Given the spring farmers have had many farmers will find it impossible to abide by this rule, the ICMSA argues.

Continuing, Drennan said: “We are looking for the deadline to be extended by one month.

We need to build silage stock for next year and many will be banking on a bumper second cut to replenish stocks.

“Spreading slurry after the first cut is an ideal time to get the vast bulk of the slurry out this year and should give the second cut the extra boost it needs,” Drennan concluded.