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Farmers urged to get slurry advice 10.10.17

Farmers in Donegal who are concerned about breaching regulations concerning the spreading of slurry are being asked to contact the Nitrates Section of the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine by Saturday 14 October, at the latest, to avail of some flexibility with regards to the spreading of slurry.
Findings from the Agricultural Catchments Programme (ACP) operated by Teagasc support the current closed periods in Ireland. A key message from the research is that there are disproportionately high nutrient losses to waters during the winter and the current closed period coincides with the time during which risks of incidental nutrient losses to water are highest. Farmers are advised to spread slurry early in the season when growth and nutrient uptake are at their peak.
It is recognised that there may be some potential concerns for animal welfare arising from heavy rainfall in specific parts of the country (the north west in particular) and farmers with such concerns are advised to contact the Nitrates Section of the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine at 053 9163444 or by emailing nitrates@agriculture.gov.ie with details of the flooding / trafficability situation, their herd number and other relevant data.
Such contact should be made by Saturday 14 October at the latest as the closed period commences on Sunday 15 October.
Farmers concerned about complying with slurry spreading regulations are urged to contact the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine.
Farmers wishing to avail of such flexibility will be advised:
  • To spread only that volume of slurry necessary to ensure adequate storage capacity for the remainder of the closed period
  • That any spreading should occur as soon as good spreading conditions exist
  • That they will be prioritised for inspection by Local Authorities in the immediate future to ensure compliance with the Nitrates Regulations
  • That assessment of overall on-farm storage capacity may be part of that inspection process
  • That the Nitrates Section DAFM will subsequently contact the farmers to ascertain and record the date(s) on which this additional spreading takes place
Finally farmers must ensure that safety is their number one priority as toxic gases are released when slurry is agitated and one breath at this time can cause instant death. All of those working with slurry should be aware of the dangers involved and make sure they work safely at all times.
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