IFA Environment and Rural Affairs Chairman Harold Kingston has called on the NRA and County Councils to improve their efforts to control the rampant spread of ragwort and noxious weeds on public roads.
“Roadside verges across the country are blighted with ragwort and other noxious weeds. There is a clear failure to manage these poisonous weeds and eliminate their spreading from roadside onto farmland. The NRA has published guidelines on the management of noxious weeds, however they now need to implement these guidelines and instruct county councils to do the same.
“County Councils and the NRA must adhere to their own guidelines and control the spread of ragwort and other noxious weeds. The law is not being implemented fairly.
“Farmers also have a responsibility to control noxious weeds on their own land and they face penalties if they do not comply with the requirements of the law. Farmland must be kept in good environmental and agricultural conditions, while local authorities avoid any responsibility for their actions.”
The NRA must urgently implement their own guidelines and work with Councils to clean up road-side verges and maintain them free from noxious weeds, he said.