The Department of Agriculture has this week issued guidelines for farmers whose holdings have suffered serious flooding in the past week.

The severe weather of recent days has caused serious flooding in many areas of the country but particularly in Connaught, Munster and the midlands where some farmland has been seriously affected by the exceptionally high level of rainfall.

The main area of concern at the moment is the flooding of slurry tanks. In this regard the Minister for Agriculture, Simon Coveney has said that in emergency cases farmers are being permitted to pump some water out of flooded tanks and that they should liaise with their local Teagasc advisers for advice on these emergency arrangements.

Flooded Slurry Tanks

In the event of flooding of slurry tanks the following emergency measures may be put in place:

1. In emergency cases, farmers will be permitted to pump some water out of flooded tanks but only for animal welfare reasons. This concession will apply only in those areas that have been severely affected by flooding.

2. Tanks should not be agitated before pumping. Use a sludge pump if possible rather than a vacuum tanker. The suction pipe should be inserted almost to the bottom of the slurry tank so that solids are not removed.

3. Pump out no more than is necessary to alleviate the immediate animal welfare problem.

4. If water is already above the level of the central passageway or the apron, then there is no point in pumping at all because water will continue to flow into the tank. In these cases, animals will have to be removed from the sheds.

5. The water should not be discharged directly to a watercourse but onto the driest field available.