Agricultural contractors in Ireland are facing mounting pressure as the deadline for slurry spreading approaches. Independent TD Carol Nolan has called on Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage, Darragh O’Brien, and Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue, to show flexibility on the issue. Recent heavy rain has made it impossible for contractors to meet the October 1 deadline, according to Nolan. The Association of Farm and Forestry Contractors in Ireland (FCI) has also urged the government to extend the slurry spreading period to account for excess slurry production and adverse weather conditions.
Nolan has been contacted by numerous contractors who are concerned about the deadline. The heavy rain in recent weeks has made it difficult for them to carry out slurry spreading operations. The deadline of October 1 is fast approaching, and if not extended, it will be impossible for contractors to meet the requirements. The contractors are already under pressure due to the nitrates decision, and the lack of regulatory flexibility from the government has only added to their frustration.
The FCI has highlighted the need for an extension to the slurry spreading period. Livestock has been housed earlier than usual this year, leading to excess slurry production. Additionally, wet weather conditions have prevented farmers from spreading slurry at the usual time. The FCI has proposed that any slurry spreading during an extended period should be done using low-emission slurry spreading (LESS) equipment. This would help minimize the environmental impact of the operations.
Deputy Carol Nolan has criticized the inaction of both ministers in addressing the concerns of contractors. She believes that a limited extension to the slurry spreading period would provide much-needed relief to the contractors who are already struggling. She emphasizes the need for a proportionate and time-bound window of opportunity to alleviate the pressure on contractors. Nolan argues that this is a reasonable request and highlights the avoidable frustration caused by the ministers’ unwillingness to act.
Both ministers, Darragh O’Brien and Charlie McConalogue, must demonstrate their willingness to provide the extension and give contractors the breathing space they need. The current situation is putting significant stress on agricultural contractors and farmers, who are already dealing with the implications of the nitrates decision. By granting an extension, the government can ease the burden on contractors and ensure that slurry spreading can be carried out effectively and in compliance with regulations.
In conclusion, agricultural contractors in Ireland are struggling to meet the deadline for slurry spreading due to recent heavy rain. The Association of Farm and Forestry Contractors in Ireland has called for an extension to the slurry spreading period to account for excess slurry production and adverse weather conditions. Independent TD Carol Nolan has criticized the government’s inaction and urged the ministers to provide a limited extension. It is essential for the government to show flexibility and support the contractors who are already under pressure. By doing so, they can alleviate frustration and ensure that slurry spreading operations can be carried out effectively.