Government urged to ‘adopt common sense’ on slurry deadline

The Irish Creamery and Milk Suppliers’ Association (ICMSA) has added its voice to calls for the closing date for slurry spreading to be extended due to the poor weather conditions.

Denis Drennan, the association’s farm and rural affairs chairperson, has called on the Government to “adopt a common sense and reasonable approach and extend the deadline”.

He highlighted that “more-or-less continuous rainfall” in certain parts of the country means that farmers with slurry to spread in these areas are “finding extremely difficult to have that done by the deadline of October 15 [next Tuesday]”.

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? Can we not now announce an extension to the slurry spreading season for those parts of the country – the west and north-west – where the weather has meant that slurry spreading has been unable to proceed?” Drennan asked.

“It’s completely within our power to extend the period in a way that means we can spread the slurry in an effective way that’s better for the environment, better for the farmers and better for our stress levels,” he argued.

‘An unnecessary frustration’

Drennan’s comments come after similar calls from a number of other’s quarters – including TDs.

Independent Tipperary TD Mattie McGrath said that he had received a “significant number of calls” from farmers on the issue, and called the situation an “unnecessary frustration” for them.

“I cannot see why a derogation or degree of flexibility cannot be introduced with respect to an issue that clearly affects so many farmers… Given that farmers have had a particularly bad year, this is one measure that can be introduced that will generate immediate relief,” McGrath said.