Michael Fitzmaurice TD has called on the Minister for Agriculture to extend the deadline for Slurry Spreading by a few weeks following the recent spell of bad weather.
Deputy Fitzmaurice said “Over the past few weeks soil conditions, particularly in the West and North West have deteriorated to such an extent that some farmers are putting their cattle back into sheds. The land has become unworkable on many farms, particularly where there is marginal land. Farmers have slurry in tanks ready to spread but even if we get a dry spell now the deadline for spreading is too tight”.
“I am calling on the Minister today to extend the deadline from October 15th to the end of October and I also want him to extend the Farmyard Manure deadline to the middle of November.”
Michael Fitzmaurice added that he wanted the Minister to make these announcements now “so as farmers do not have to plough up land which would be most unsuitable at this time given the soil conditions. I want the fear of the deadline taken away as soon as possible. Usually if there is an extension it is announced at the last minute which is very unsatisfactory and I am calling to Minster Creed to make this announcement now to relieve pressure on farmers.”
Michael Fitzmaurice also called on An Taoiseach Enda Kenny to personally intervene to announce an emergency fund to assist small family farms who are now in crisis. Speaking at the National Ploughing Championships Deputy Fitzmaurice said “Grain is going back into the ground because of the weather, dairy prices are at an all time low, beef prices are unsustainable, and sheep prices are not near where they were this time last year. Small family farms are going to go out of business unless something radical is done and I want this emergency fund announced” he concluded