Farm­ers seek­ing slurry flex­i­bil­ity will be pri­ori­tised for in­spec­tion

Irish Examiner - Farming - - NEWS - Stephen Cado­gan

The Depart­ment of Hous­ing, Plan­ning and Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment (DHPLG) said this week there are no plans to ex­tend the slurry spread­ing dead­line, but it is recog­nised there may be some po­ten­tial con­cerns for a n i m a l w e l f a r e a r i si n g f r o m heavy rain­fall in spe­cific parts of the coun­try (the north west in par­tic­u­lar).

Farm­ers with such con­cerns are ad­vised to con­tact the Ni­trates Sec­tion of the Depart­ment of Agri­cul­ture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) at 0539163444, or by email­ing to ni­trates@agri­cul­ture.gov.ie with de­tails of the flood­ing/traf­fi­ca­bil­ity sit­u­a­tion, their herd num­ber, and other rel­e­vant data. Such con­tact should be made by next Satur­day at the lat­est, as the closed pe­riod com­mences on Sun­day, Oc­to­ber 15.

Farm­ers wish­ing to avail of such flex­i­bil­ity will be ad­vised: To spread only that vol­ume of slurry nec­es­sary to en­sure ad­e­quate stor­age ca­pac­ity for the re­main­der of the closed pe­riod.

That any spread­ing should oc­cur as soon as good spread­ing con­di­tions ex­ist.

That they will be pri­ori­tised for in­spec­tion by lo­cal au­thor­i­ties in the im­me­di­ate fu­ture, to en­sure com­pli­ance with the Ni­trates Reg­u­la­tions. That as­sess­ment of over­all on-farm stor­age ca­pac­ity may be part of that in­spec­tion process.

That the Ni­trates Sec­tion DAFM will sub­se­quently con­tact the farm­ers to as­cer­tain and record the date(s) on which ad­di­tional spread­ing takes place.

Lo­cal au­thor­ity in­spec­tion re­ports will be re­turned to DHPLG and shared with DAFM, and those farms need­ing to avail of this flex­i­bil­ity will be­come a pri­or­ity cat­e­gory for in­spec­tions in fu­ture years also. Both Depart­ments also warned all those work­ing with slurry to be aware of the dan­gers in­volved and to work safely at all times.

Both ICMSA Pres­i­dent John Comer and ICSA ru­ral de­vel­op­ment chair­man Sea­mus Sher­lock said pri­ori­ti­sa­tion for lo­cal au­thor­ity in­spec­tion of those ap­ply­ing for slurry spread­ing flex­i­bil­ity heaps ad­di­tional pres­sure on farm­ers.

The As­so­ci­a­tion of Farm & Forestry Con­trac­tors wel­comed the flex­i­bil­ity, say­ing its mem­bers have been un­der huge farm safety pres­sure, try­ing to meet the Oc­to­ber 15 dead­line for farmer clients.

Farm­ers seek­ing slurry spread­ing flex­i­bil­ity will be pri­ori­tised for in­spec­tions in the im­me­di­ate fu­ture and in fu­ture years.

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