Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Agriculture Éamon Ó Cuív TD has called on Minister Phil Hogan to extend the slurry spreading deadline so farmers can take advantage of the milder weather in recent weeks.
Deputy Ó Cuív commented: “I am calling on the Minister to consider extending the start of the slurry spreading season by 2 weeks from October 15th. This needs to be done so farmers can avail of the good grass growing conditions in recent weeks. There was also a very late spring this year due to the fodder crisis and many farmers will have missed the first cutting of grass this year.
“Farmers are still recovering from the terrible weather conditions last winter and spring. The fine weather we had in late summer and autumn means farmers are still saving grass for the winter and a sensible approach must be taken here by the Minister.
“The agricultural sector cannot be administered in such a rigid fashion, account must be taken of vagaries in weather conditions and other factors that are changeable from year to year.
“The Minister for the Environment must extend the deadline for the spreading of slurry, another two weeks is needed to give farmers some hope of preparing well for next year.
“Lessons must be learned from the fodder crisis this year, the severe weather conditions we have had in recent years demands more flexibility from Government.”