Warning over 'farming by calendar'

 

The idea of “farming by calendar” needs to be revised, Gabriel Gilmartin, head of the Irish Cattle and Sheep Farmers’ Association (ICSA) has declared. He called for an end to current slurry spreading deadlines which he described as “unworkable, unrealistic nonsense”.

Acknowledging the environmental reasons behind the deadlines, Mr Gilmartin said in light of recent rainfall, forcing farmers to spread slurry before a certain date has the potential to cause more environmental harm than good. This year’s deadline of October 15th was extended by two weeks as a result of the exceptionally heavy rainfall during the summer months.

However, the association argues that this is not an adequate solution to the problem, and that there must be a revision of the concept of “farming by calendar”. “We must be allowed to use weather patterns and ground conditions as the determining factors in carrying out our work,” said Mr Gilmartin.

“Farmers who are now under pressure to empty their slurry tanks in order to protect their Single Farm Payment are being forced to go against their better judgment and spread the slurry in totally unsuitable conditions,” he remarked.

“This artificial deadline goes against [farmers’ judgment] and I cannot understand why the legislators refuse to accept this fact.”