Minister called on to extend slurry spreading period

Minister Michael Creed is being urged to extend the open period for slurry spreading due to the adverse weather and the lack of opportunities for spreading.

Joe Healy, the president of the Irish Farmer’s Association (IFA), said that some farmers have been unable to spread “for months”, and that the approaching closing date – next Tuesday, October 15 – was causing “extreme distress” for them.

“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,” Healy said.

The need to resolve this issue is significant, with an increasing number of farmers expressing concern as the end date is fast approaching. This is causing extreme distress and adding to what has been a challenging year for many farmers, particularly in the livestock sector.

“The main issue is the number of days lost during the period when slurry spreading is allowed,” Healy pointed out.

The IFA president’s point was echoed by Thomas Cooney, the association’s environment chairperson, who “strongly encouraged” Minister Creed to review his position on the issue.

“Met Éireann is anticipating that, over the coming week, rainfall totals are currently looking to be above normal again, possibly up to twice the average,” Cooney stressed.

Of additional concern is [Met Éireann’s] expectation of ‘limited drying opportunities’, which effectively brings the period when slurry can be spread to an early close.

“Minister Creed must work with his Government colleagues, and support farmers who are endeavouring to do the right thing, by granting a further period of time during which slurry can be spread,” the environment chairperson concluded.