Problems associated with ‘calendar farming’ are clearly evident over the past few days as wet weather has prevented many farmers from spreading slurry.

This is according to the chairman of the ICMSA’s Farm Services and Environment Committee Patrick Rohan.

He said farmers are extremely frustrated in many areas as they have been unable to get slurry out due to the poor weather conditions since the open period commenced.

He explained: “Weather experienced during this open period make a very stark contrast to the ideal weather and ground conditions experienced throughout the country in October, November and December.

“Grass was growing during this period, ground conditions were excellent but farmers were prevented from spreading slurry due to these demonstrably impractical ‘calendar farming’ restrictions. ‘Calendar farming’ simply does not work,” stated Mr Rohan.

As unusual weather patterns become more frequent and precisely at a time when more flexibility was required, it simply made no sense whatsoever to be designating dates and periods on a calendar with no reference to the practicalities and the opportunities that might arise, he concluded.