Eugene Murphy

Eugene Murphy calls for extension of slurry spreading deadline

Eugene Murphy

Fianna Fáil TD Eugene Murphy has called on Minister Michael Creed to extend the October deadline for slurry spreading given the severe weather experienced over the past few months, which has severely curtailed spreading activity.

This was one of the issues which Eugene Murphy discussed with IFA officials during the IFA pre-budget briefing in Dublin this week. Deputy Murphy met with IFA officials including IFA President Joe Healy, John Hanley, Chairman of Roscommon IFA, James O’Connor of Roscommon IFA and Sean Finan of Macra na Feirme.

“The 15th October deadline is fast approaching but farmland across the country has had little time to recover from severe downpours of this summer, with many farms still waterlogged.

“While I appreciate that the Nitrates Directive is in effect, Minister Creed must talk with his European counterparts to secure some flexibility for farmers whose land has been severely damaged as a result of recent weather conditions. Farmers must see that the government is doing everything within its power to extend the current deadline,” said Deputy Murphy.

“I understand that farms in Northern Ireland have been given an exemption to spread slurry past this deadline once they can provide a reasonable explanation for an extension. I am urging Minister Creed to argue for a similar exemption for farmers here.

Tillage devastated

“The recent bad weather had devastated tillage farmers’ crop in some counties. Fianna Fáil has called for an emergency fund to be created to cater for farmers in areas that have seen their farmland destroyed, while a fodder scheme is needed to support farmers who have lost hay, silage and straw,” said Deputy Murphy.

Farm income

The Fianna Fail TD also noted that it was vital that the farm income crisis was tackled in this October’s budget as many farm families are under increasing pressure as cashflow tightens and the viability of the family farm is put at risk. Deputy Murphy called for increased funding for farm schemes in a bid to deliver programmes of support for low-income farmers as well as encouraging young farmers and promoting on-farm investment.