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Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnane hails from a sixth-generation drystock and specialised pedigree suckler enterprise in Co. Mayo. She currently holds the positions of editor and general manager at That's Farming, having joined the firm during its start-up phase in 2015.
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Slurry spreading ban approaching

The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine has reminded farmers that the prohibited period for the application of slurry commences on Saturday, October 8th, 2022.

According to a statement, this is one week earlier than in previous years to reduce the risk of the loss of nutrients to water.

Moreover, the application of farmyard manure continues to be prohibited from November 1st, 2022.

The DAFM highlighted that the enforcement of regulations in relation to the application of organic manure lies with the relevant local authority.

The Good Agricultural Practice for Protection of Waters Regulations 2022 (S.I. 113 of 2022 as amended) gives legal effect in Ireland to the Nitrates Directive and our Nitrates Action Programme.

These regulations are the responsibility of the Department of Housing, Local Government & Heritage and the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine works “closely” with them in this regard.

Water protection 

In a statement, a DAFM spokesperson said:

“The purpose of the regulations is to provide a basic set of measures to ensure the protection of waters, including drinking water sources, against pollution caused by nitrogen and phosphorus from agricultural sources.”

“The primary emphasis is on the management of organic manures and other fertilisers.”

“2022 has seen a marked increase in the value being placed on organic manures as a valuable source of nutrients.”

“Farm practices that maximise this value, such as earlier spreading, have been implemented by farmers this year, something which the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine welcomes.”

Update bank details

In other news, yesterday (Monday), the DAFM urged farmers to update bank details to avoid interruption to receipt of their scheme payments.

The reminder comes on the back of the planned exit of Ulster Bank and KBC from the Irish banking sector.

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue, said his department has “actively engaged” with farmers that have had scheme payments issued into accounts in these two banks.

Between March and August of this year, he said the DAFM communicated by letter and SMS with some 12,000 farmers that had received scheme payments into Ulster Bank and KBC Bank accounts during 2020 and 2021, and who still had these accounts registered with the department.

He said: “Farmers were advised how to access the necessary payment mandate form, which was enclosed in the letters and also available from my department’s website.”

“In early September, farmers were once again reminded of the need to notify the department when they change the account into which they wish to receive payments.

According to the DAFM, some 6,000 of the 12,000 farmers who received scheme payments to Ulster and KBC Bank accounts during 2022 to date have now provided new account details to the DAFM.

According to the DAFM, almost 50% of farmers who have been using the banks have not yet provided details for their new account for receipt of payments.

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