The prohibited period when spreading farm yard manure is not allowed on Irish farms will start next week.

From November 1, farmers are not allowed to spread farm yard manure on their lands under the rules of the Nitrates Directive.

As the graph below shows the closed period remains enforced until January 12 in the south east, January 15 in the midlands and west and January 31 in northern counties.

Farm Yard Manure is prohibited from being spread over the winter in Ireland so as to comply with the European Union’s Nitrates Directive.

The aim is to protect ground and surface water, including drinking water. The regulations also prohibit such application at any time of the year when the ground is frozen, waterlogged or heavy rain is forecast.

Key dates

slurry deadline

Failure to comply with these guidelines could lead to farmers Basic Payments potentially being penalised.

No plans to extend slurry spreading season says Environment Minister

The slurry spreading season came to a close yesterday (October 15) and according to the Minister of the Environment, Alan Kelly, there are no plans to extend it.

From October 15, farmers are not allowed to spread slurry on their lands under the rules of the Nitrates Directive.

Responding to questioning from Limerick TD Partick O’Donovan, the Minister said he has no plans at present to extend the spreading periods for organic fertilisers.