Sonegal County Councillor Donal ‘Mandy’ Kelly is calling on the Minister for Agriculture to extend this year’s slurry spreading deadline for farmers, particularly those in Donegal.
Cllr Kelly has written to Minister Charlie McConalogue asking for the 1st October deadline to be extended by three or four weeks. Cllr Kelly said that the move would reduce pressure on farmers at a time when they are facing fertilizer cost hikes.
“I have been contacted by numerous farmers, and I’m a farmer myself, and with the wet summer, farmers are sitting with slurry tanks full. They are not going to have it out before the deadline,” Cllr Kelly told Donegal Daily.
It’s recommended that slurry should not be spread 48 hours before or after rainfall. The wet summer has made this very difficult for farmers.
“If the deadline is not put back, they will have no choice but to put it out and that could lead to pollution of rivers and streams. We don’t want to see that,” Cllr Kelly said.
Cllr Kelly added; “Slurry has become an even more and more valuable organic fertilizer to farmers, especially since the massive hikes in the cost of chemical fertilisers.
“Considering the costs that farmers are enduring, even with fertiliser and feedstuff, it’s important that this added pressure is put upon them.”
Cllr Kelly said he is hopeful that the Minister’s office will heed his call.
“I have put this point across very strongly for the farmers of Donegal and hopefully the Minister will take this on board. I have also asked that the Minister consider bringing next year’s slurry spreading dates forward,” Cllr Kelly said.
“I’m asking that Counties in Zone C which can’t spread slurry until the 1st of February onwards (Including Donegal) be relooked at and be given the same starting dates as the Counties in Zone B where spreading is allowed to commence from 16th of January onwards.”