Fianna Fáil TD for Sligo-Leitrim Eamon Scanlon says the Agriculture Minister must move to ensure that the deadline for slurry spreading is extended beyond 15th October.  Deputy Scanlon has called on Minister Michael Creed to emphasise the seriousness of the situation with his Cabinet colleague Simon Coveney to get an extension on the Nitrates Directive deadline.  He raised the issue in the Dáil earlier this week.

Deputy Scanlon commented, “Farmers across the North West, and right around the country have been unable to spread slurry this summer because of the severe weather over the past few months.  Many farms are still completely waterlogged, with large areas of land simply unworkable, and the slurry deadline is now too tight.

“We have been faced with similar scenarios in the past and have had the deadlines extended – this is the sensible thing to do.  Farmers need the Government to stand up for them but so far Ministers Creed and Coveney have failed to act in their interest.  Tillage farmers along the western seaboard are feeling the losses particularly acutely – many have already suffered severe crop losses and are unable to conserve sufficient fodder for the winter months.

“The high level of rainfall has made slurry spreading exceptionally difficult this year, and the Nitrates Directive restrictions have further limited slurry spreading activity.  On foot of this, allowances need to be made in cases where farmers have not had adequate time to spread slurry.  I am calling on the Agriculture Minister to ensure that farmers are not made to suffer any further and secure an extension of the October 15th deadline”.