Department called on to subsidise the transport of slurry to arable land as tanks fill up

A councillor has called on the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine to subsidise the transportation of slurry to arable land as tanks reach capacity in his area.

Seamus Coyle is a Fianna Fail councillor in Co. Monaghan and he argues that farmers are under mounting pressure in his local area as slurry storage is at a premium.

He believes that the department should come to the aid of farmers and subsidise the transportation of slurry out of the region on to arable land that can take the organic fertiliser.

Speaking to AgriLand, he said: “Farmers and contractors are busy moving slurry from one tank to another.

“A lot of farmers couldn’t get enough of slurry out prior to the closing date last October; the weather had been very poor since August. Farmers had cattle housed a lot earlier than expected as well.

There are major concerns here that the ground won’t be fit to spread on when the ban is lifted; ground conditions are totally saturated.

Cllr. Coyle would be hopeful that arable farmers would be open to the idea and willing to co-operate with farmers in the likes of counties Cavan and Monaghan that are under severe pressure for slurry storage.

Image source: Department of Agriculture

The closed period for slurry spreading doesn’t come to a close until the beginning of February in counties Cavan, Monaghan, Leitrim and Donegal; but, the period comes to an end in other areas in the coming days.

Unless there is a significant improvement in the weather, the ground won’t be physically ready for tractors to travel on in his area, Cllr. Coyle added.

He was also quick to explain that this has been an exceptional year for farmers – who have put an emphasis on creating extra slurry storage in recent years.

This has been an exceptional year; we have never faced the crisis situation that we’re facing at the moment.

Cllr. Coyle – a farmer who runs a dairy and beef enterprise – places the present slurry storage issue in his area on par with the current fodder crisis.

He added: “I’m under pressure like everybody else. Farmers are managing the situation as we speak; they’re very resourceful.”

Concluding, the Fianna Fail councillor asked the department to take urgent action on the issue and he also asked farmers with spare slurry storage capacity to make it available to a neighbour in need.