Fine Gael Cork East TD, Tom Barry, has urged the Minister for the Environment to consider extending the time period allowed for the spreading of fertiliser and slurry, in an effort to give farmers a chance to recover from one of the worst years for agriculture in recent times.
It is prohibited to spread fertiliser after September 15th under Nitrates regulations.
“I raised this issue with Minister Hogan during this week’s Parliamentary Party meeting and I am hopeful that we can secure some extension of time.
“After our really poor summer, farmers are only now getting to cut silage – some for the first time this year. Access to quality after-grass is vital, considering that there have never been such critically low levels of winter fodder.
“A derogation to allow fertiliser to be spread on after-grass could help to counteract this serious situation. Many farmers are within their fertiliser limits as they failed to even travel land over the whole summer period. However, they are now anxious that they will go past the deadline for spreading fertiliser under farm guidelines.
“I have also asked the Minister to extend the October 15th cut-off point for the spreading of slurry by a similar time period. This year’s summer has caused huge problems in terms of production, grass and crop growth and reductions in income at a time of spiralling input costs. We have to support the agricultural sector this year in any way we can.”