16 January 2018
By Bryan Smyth
‘Plans by officials at the Department of Agriculture to introduce rules dictating the direction that farmers can plough their fields are impractical and display a major lack of common sense’ – That is the view of West Cork Independent TD, Michael Collins.
He is astonished at what he calls another level of impractical bureaucracy and a major lack of understanding by the Department of Agriculture’s latest rules and regulations.
‘These proposed new rules, that will require farmers to plough their fields horizontally instead of vertically, are impractical,’ Deputy Collins said. Not every farm is the same, not every field can be ploughed in a horizontal direction. The government must recognise the fact that one size does not fit all and there is a complete lack of common sense on display, once again, by the Department of Agriculture.’
The proposed new regulations will require a farmer to plough horizontally across any field with a gradient slope of 15 degrees or more which, is being ploughed after December 1st. According to the proposed ruling, if a field cannot be ploughed horizontally due to health and safety concerns then the land must be ploughed vertically as close to sowing as possible.
‘This is another example of the government’s ridiculous attitude when it comes to issuing rules and regulations to farmers,’ Deputy Collins said. As usual they are following a one size fits all approach. There are fields with different gradients all within the one field, land that can only be ploughed vertically and what can a farmer do if there is a sharp rise in the middle of a field? More thought and work needs to be done before the department makes these proposals in the future.’