An end to the closed period for spreading slurry, artificial fertiliser, farmyard manure and other organic fertilisers is in sight.

Farmers in some parts of the country will be able to spread from this weekend on.

The date from which you can begin to spread slurry, artificial fertiliser and farmyard manure from will depend on the part of the country you are located in.

What zone are you in?
  • Zone A: Counties Carlow; Cork; Dublin; Kildare; Kilkenny; Laois; Offaly; Tipperary; Waterford; Wexford; and Wicklow;
  • Zone B: Counties Clare; Galway; Kerry; Limerick; Longford; Louth; Mayo; Meath; Roscommon; Sligo; and Westmeath;
  • Zone C: Counties Cavan; Donegal; Leitrim; and Monaghan.

When can you spread?
  • Zone A: January 13;
  • Zone B: January 16;
  • Zone C: February 1.

Farmers will no doubt be hoping that the recent dry spell will hold up in order to get out with slurry and empty tanks. Many grassland farmers may also use the opportunity to apply urea to grazing ground.

However, all should be mindful of the weather forecast. Just because the nitrates directive allows for spreading to take place – from the above dates on – it does not mean it is the optimum time to spread.

Make the most of a dry spell when it comes, but watch out for heavy rainfall and poor ground conditions.

Safety first

Most importantly farmers should take care when spreading slurry and stop taking risks.

  • Agitate on windy day, open all shed doors and work upwind at all times;
  • Remove all livestock and control pets;
  • Agitate/ventilate and stay away for 30 minutes;
  • Keep tank openings secure and do not enter the tank at any stage;
  • Avoid working alone.

AgriLand will bring you safety guidelines – from the Health and Safety Authority – to adhere when spreading slurry tomorrow.