IFA Rural Development Chairman, Tom Turley, has said that farmers in Shannon Callows will be allowed to cut their meadows from 23rd July next under derogation rather than the delayed date of August/September for 2011.
Mr. Turley said that following discussions, it has been confirmed by the National Parks + Wildlife Service, the derogation will apply to 600 farmers in REPS, AEOS and the NPWS National Farm Plan Scheme whose areas are designated in the Shannon Callows and other areas.
The IFA man welcomed the derogation as it’s clear that the staggered cuttings from early August to mid-September was not working for farming or the environment. With the late cutting dates, the quality of fodder was very poor and farmers were either unable to conserve hay/silage or if conserved, it was of very poor quality. The derogation will now allow farmers an opportunity to conserve a better quality of fodder for 2011.
Mr. Turley said that consideration must be given so that this derogation becomes permanent in the years ahead.