Fianna Fáil TD for Cavan-Monaghan Niamh Smyth has called on the Agriculture Minister to lift the ban on spreading slurry to allow farmers to benefit from the dry and mild conditions ahead of a cold spell which is forecast from next week.

Deputy Smyth explained, “The winter ban on slurry spreading runs until mid-January, however, the past few weeks have been unseasonably mild and dry, and the ban is still in effect.  However, these are optimum slurry spreading conditions, and with a harsh spell forecast from next week, I am calling on the Agriculture Minister to relax the ban and allow farmers to spread slurry now.

“Many farmers are still reeling from the impact of last year’s fodder crisis and are anxious to make the most of the current conditions.  The Minister was able to extend the slurry spreading deadline last year to accommodate farmers who were badly hit by the fodder crisis, and I believe he needs to step in again so that farmers are given the opportunity to boost grass growth for spring.

“2018 saw unprecedented weather conditions – everything from extreme snow to summer droughts – which made for an extremely challenging farming environment.  It’s possible that we could be in for more of the same this year, and that is a real worry for farmers.  Every available option should be considered to maximise farming opportunities and I am urging Minister Creed to bring forward the slurry spreading date as one measure which could ease the burden on farm families”.