TOM BARRY T.D. CALLS FOR EXTENSIONS FOR FERTILISERS AND SLURRY
DEPUTY Tom Barry has asked Minister Phil Hogan to extend the time period allowed for the spreading of both fertilisers and slurry in an effort to give farmers some chance to recover from one of the worst years for agriculture in recent times.
Deputy Barry outlined: “I spoke at length with Minister Hogan about this issue during this week’s Parliamentary Party meeting and I am hopeful that we can secure some extension of time.” It is prohibited to spread fertiliser after September 15th under Nitrates regulations.
The Fine Gael TD continued: “Following the really poor summer, farmers are now finally 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.
“I have specifically asked the Minister to apply a derogation to allow fertiliser to be spread on after-grass to counteract this serious situation. Many farmers are within their fertiliser limits as they failed to even travel land over the whole summer period. They are, however, now anxious that they will go past the deadline for spreading fertiliser under farm guidelines.
“Furthermore, I have asked that the October 15th cut-off point for the spreading of slurry be extended by a similar time period. Just as agriculture is finding its feet; 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 this sector this year in any way we can.”