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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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Closed period to begin on October 15th after further 7-day extension granted

A further seven-day slurry spreading extension has been granted, Minister Darragh O’Brien and Minister Charlie McConalogue, have confirmed this morning (Wednesday, October 4th, 2023).

In accordance with the Good Agricultural Practice for the Protection of Waters Regulations, (SI 113 of 2022, as amended), the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage, in consultation with the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, last year agreed and published criteria to determine whether the period for slurry spreading can be extended beyond September 30th, 2023.

Based on the evidence, which has been assessed against the published criteria, the closed period will now commence on October 15th, 2023.

Farmers are reminded to observe the buffer zones that apply at this time of the year.

In addition, farmers should also be aware that there is no provision in the regulations (SI No 113 of 2022, as amended) to extend the slurry spreading period beyond October 14th.

McConalogue comments

Announcing the decision, Minister McConalogue stated:

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“I recognise that unseasonable weather conditions experienced this summer and during September, have impacted trafficability and provided limited opportunities for slurry applications by farmers and contractors.”

“I am conscious that last week’s significant rainfall diminished the opportunity to avail of the limited extension already announced.”

“It is important to recognise also that the published criteria do not provide for a prolonged extension period.”

“The decision today to provide an additional week is justified and will facilitate prudent application by farmers.”

Minister McConalogue also stated: “Given the need to deliver on our commitments to improving water quality, it is fundamental that slurry is applied under the right conditions and at the right time of year.”

“It is critical that farm practices deliver on water quality. As part of this, nutrient application must align with crop uptake,” he concluded.

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