12th September, 2012
The Irish Cattle and Sheep Farmers’ Association president, Gabriel Gilmartin, says he is “hugely disappointed” that the deadline for the spreading of slurry has not been abolished altogether, rather than simply extended.
It emerged today that the closing dates for both slurry and fertiliser spreading have been pushed back by two weeks. The last day for spreading fertiliser is now September 29th; while for slurry it’s now October 29th.
Mr. Gilmartin said, “As ICSA has pointed out repeatedly, the abnormal level of rainfall seen in most parts of Ireland over the past few months has made farming exceptionally difficult this year. The extension of the deadline for spreading fertiliser will probably be sufficient and I welcome that; however I am hugely disappointed that the Government has not seen fit to take the bull by the horns and fight for the abolition of “calendar farming,” which, in present circumstances, would mean going against best farming practice, i.e. forcing farmers to spread slurry on land that is not fit in order to comply with bureaucracy.”
“Year after year, weather conditions have led to the slurry deadline being extended; and year after year ICSA has called for the deadline to be abolished instead. The continuing pattern of deadlines being extended as a direct result of the weather should have indicated to the legislators by now that they simply cannot ignore the fact that farming decisions must be guided by prevailing conditions, not dates on a calendar,” Mr. Gilmartin continued.
“In fact, I would like to invite the Ministers for Agriculture and Environment to come out and see the state of Irish land for themselves. Perhaps then they would realise the seriousness of the situation many farmers find themselves in and take action to get rid of the ridiculous notion of “calendar farming.”