THE slurry spreading period has been extended by seven days, with spreading now permitted up until October 8th – but calls have been made for a further week.
The October 8th extension was made following recent weather and the Department of Agriculture said it is the maximum extension that can be granted based on the published criteria. It said the delay in the closed period was granted after scientific assessment which indicated the extended period does not represent a threat to water quality.
Agriculture Minister Charlie McConalogue stated: ‘I recognise that unseasonable weather conditions experienced this summer and within the last week, have impacted trafficability and provided limited opportunities for possible slurry applications by farmers and contractors.’
However, Cork South West Deputy Michael Collins called for a further extension to October 14th. ‘Even with this extension, numerous farmers will still be unable to spread organic manures on their fields before October 8th,’ said Deputy Collins.
‘This is primarily due to the urgent need for another round of silage cutting and the worsening ground conditions, rendering them unsuitable for slurry spreading. A longer extension, even an extra week, would facilitate the application of nutrients under more favourable conditions than those experienced this week.’