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New slurry spreading rules

New rules for spreading slurry during the month of February will take affect in Northern Ireland from this year.

Following the review of the Nitrates Action Programme and despite opposition from the UFU, DAERA have imposed new spreading rules for February and October. 

The latest regulations have increased the buffer zones and farmers must now be 15m away from waterways and 30m from lakes. 

The amount of slurry that can be spread at any one time has also been reduced to 30m3/ha (2700 gallons/acre).


UFU deputy president, Victor Chestnutt, said farmers and contractors should take care to comply with these new rules to protect their area payments as any breaches could result in penalties. 

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“As the closed period finishes this week, many farmers are under pressure to spread slurry to relieve storage difficulties.”

“The UFU have always opposed the inflexibility of farming by calendar dates and the strain this creates however, we urge farmers to make themselves familiar with the new rules to avoid penalties and protect waterways.”

These additional restrictions will only apply during the month of February and 1-15 October each year.

Exported slurry 

The UFU is also reminding farmers, who exported organic manures to other farmers during 2019, that a register of these exports must be submitted online to the Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA) by January 31st, 2020.

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