Rural Development

Extension to Liming Scheme Deadline Needed

IFA Rural Development Chair John Curran has called for common sense to apply and for Minister McConalogue to announce a further extension for spreading under the National Liming Programme until the end of December.

“The current deadline is June 28th.  While extensions earlier this year helped, the persistent wet weather for much of the period since, coupled with heavy grass covers, has significantly diminished opportunities to spread lime,” he said.  

“We are getting reports from suppliers, particularly those in the West, that only 20-30% of prepaid lime has been delivered and spread to date. This is concerning,” he said.

“Many farmers, particularly those with red clover swards, will be looking to get multiple silage crops this year to rebuild fodder reserves given the long and extended housing period last year. There is a danger that some may apply lime onto silage ground between harvests to comply. This would have significant consequences on silage quality and must be avoided.” 

“Ultimately, practicality and common sense should apply.  Farmers need additional time to make full use of the benefits of scheme. This will allow them to better plan for the weeks and months ahead, particularly during this very busy time of year,” he said.

“The extension would also prove resource efficient from a Department perspective, saving having to claw back monies at a later date. We are engaging with the Department on the matter, and we will continue to press the Minister to come out sooner rather than later with a further extension,” he concluded. 

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