IFA National Environment + Rural Affairs Chairman Pat Farrell has called on the European Commission to immediately meet with the Departments of Environment and Agriculture and review the unworkable calendar farming regime, imposed as part of the EU Nitrates Directive.
Speaking after a meeting with senior EU officials in Brussels, Pat Farrell said, “The exceptional rainfall during August and September, particularly in the north-east and along the west coast made it impossible for farmers to empty slurry tanks by spreading on second cut silage ground. The deluge of rain which then came at the start of the closed period has now resulted in tanks filling with water. This has created enormous difficulties on farms.”
“Ministers Phil Hogan and Simon Coveney must lead this initiative and present the facts to the Commission that calendar farming is not the solution, when implementing the nitrates regulations. A number of measures must be reviewed, including the definition of soiled water and its spreading during the closed period. Farmers right to farm based on best environmental and agronomic conditions must be restored.”