Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Agriculture Charlie McConalogue has called on Minister Michael Creed to extend the October deadline for slurry spreading given the severe weather experienced over the past few months, which has severely curtailed spreading activity.

Deputy McConalogue commented, “The 15th October deadline is fast approaching but farmland across the country has had little time to recover from severe downpours of this summer, with many farms still waterlogged.

“While I appreciate that the Nitrates Directive is in effect, Minister Creed must talk with his European counterparts to secure some flexibility for farmers whose land has been severely damaged as a result of recent weather conditions. Farmers must see that the government is doing everything within its power to extend the current deadline.

“I understand that farms in Northern Ireland have been given an exemption to spread slurry past this deadline once they can provide a reasonable explanation for an extension.  I am urging Minister Creed to argue for a similar exemption for farmers here.

“The recent bad weather had devastated tillage farmers’ crop in some counties. Fianna Fáil has called for an emergency fund to be created to cater for farmers in areas that have seen their farmland destroyed, while a fodder scheme is needed to support farmers who have lost hay, silage and straw”.