Government ministers need to cop on and grant an extension to the slurry spreading deadline which is almost upon us, according to independent TD Michael Fitzmaurice.
The representative for the Roscommon-Galway constituency called on the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government, Eoghan Murphy, and the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed, to grant the extension.
As it stands, tomorrow (Tuesday, October 15th) will be the last day that farmers will be allowed to spread slurry this year – with the closed period coming to an end in January.
Speaking on the topic, Fitzmaurice said: “Common sense must prevail in this matter. Irish farmers have had to put up with consistent rainfall since early August.
“As it stands, Met Eireann currently has a Status Yellow rainfall warning in place for Connacht, Munster, Carlow, Kilkenny, Laois, Longford, Wexford, Offaly and Westmeath. This warning will remain in place for the entire day.
“We are being warned about the risk of localised flooding. How can farmers possibly spread slurry in conditions like this?
“Do Ministers Creed and Murphy want to see slurry flowing into rivers? All because of a date that they had the power to extend, but didn’t.
“These ministers need to cop on and grant the extension until the end of this month. Farmers do not want to spread slurry in poor conditions; that is just common sense.
“But they are being backed into a corner. Farmers, particularly in the west of Ireland, have spread little or no slurry in the past two months.
“They are now being forced to house cattle early as field conditions deteriorate. Opportunities to spread slurry have been limited in recent weeks due to weather and ground conditions.
“If you look at Met Eireann, taking its Athenry station for example, total rainfall for August and September of this year was double what it was in 2018.
“Common sense needs to prevail in order to give farmers a chance to get some slurry spread. Otherwise, it will turn into an animal welfare issue in a couple of weeks when tanks are at capacity.
“Both Ministers Creed and Murphy have an important decision to make; and they better not delay,” Fitzmaurice concluded.
Michael Fitzmaurice TD – 0861914565