Thursday, October 25, 2012

Slurry spreading deadline must be reviewed - O' Connell

As the deadline for spreading slurry approaches the Chairperson of County Wexford Sinn Féin has called on the government to show leniency to farmers who have been unable to meet the deadline due to extraordinary bad weather this year.  Oisin O' Connell said that the current deadline in place for slurry spreading is unrealistic, should be reviewed and compared to more practical systems such as the six counties model which allows for spreading throughout the winter months.

Mr O' Connell said;

"The Department of Agriculture's Nitrate Directive the spreading of slurry is prohibited between the October 15th and January 31st every year.  This year the Minister extended the deadline to October 30th after taking into account just how wet farm land is after our extremely poor summer.  While this was a welcome move, it is not enough."

"A recent survey by IFA of over 300 farmers around the country shows that 60% of respondents still have half their slurry to spread, with a quarter having 75% left.  80% said that they are not confident that they will be finished by the new deadline.  Many farmers around County Wexford cannot travel on their land and will not be able to do so by the 31st of October."

"The current deadline is unrealistic.  I'm calling on the Minister to review this deadline and to look at another extension.  Recently my party colleague in the six counties, Minister Michelle O' Neill, has enacted rules that allow any farmer with legitimate excuses to spread slurry during the winter months.  If it can be done in the north, it can be done here."

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