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Coveney welcomes measures to alleviate weather related difficulties for Farmers

Simon Coveney TD, Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine welcomes the measures announced today by his colleague Phil Hogan TD, Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government, to alleviate the difficulties experienced by livestock and tillage farmers due to unprecedented wet weather experienced during the summer and autumn of 2012.

The Minister outlined that "the measures announced today are targeted at farmers who, under normal circumstances would have adequate storage facilities, but due to the additional housing of livestock and poor weather over recent months, find themselves with insufficient capacity remaining  for the coming winter." Farmers will be allowed to spread the least amount of slurry necessary to ensure they will have enough capacity to tie them over the closed period.  This spreading can take place up to Friday 16 November 2012.

Additionally there will be an earlier ending of the closed period, which will allow farmers in Zones A and B to spread slurry from 1 January 2013, and from 15 January in Zone C, subject to spreading conditions being suitable. Minister Coveney said "this will allow farmers to maximise the value of slurry through early Spring application and not be forced to spread all their slurry now" Minister Coveney stressed. ‘Farmers wishing to avail of this spreading concession in the period 1 to 16 November must notify the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine in advance." Details on this notification process will be available in the coming days on the Department’s website.

Minister Coveney also welcomed the decision to grant a derogation from providing green cover to cereal growers who had either ploughed or sprayed ground in preparation for sowing a winter crop but again due to the wet weather, were not able to establish a crop. The Minister outlined "This limited derogation applies only to tillage farmers who declared winter crops on their SPS application form in 2012 and have evidence of purchase/ordering of seed for sowing a winter crop".

The Minister concluded, "These measures are practical and pragmatic solutions to assist farmers in greatest need overcome the weather related difficulties experienced in recent months".

Notes for Editors

The measures announced today are subject to the following conditions:

Spreading of organic manures produced on farms will only be allowed during the period 1 November to 16 November inclusive where:


  1. Farmers have the required minimum storage capacity under normal circumstances;
  2. Storage tanks are at a current level that leaves insufficient storage capacity for the closed periods;
  3. The insufficient storage capacity arising could lead to a potential risk of animal welfare issues arising;
  4. Farmers must only remove and spread the least amount required to give them sufficient capacity to last until the end of the closed period; Normal requirements where spreading is not allowed in advance of adverse weather continue to apply.
  5. Farmers notify DAFM in advance of their intention to avail of this arrangement. Details of notification process will be available on DAFM website early next week 

In relation to green cover establishment;

  1. The derogation relates to land prepared through ploughing or application of a total herbicide in advance of winter sowing.

         2.   Only land ploughed or sprayed before this announcement is eligible for the derogation outlined above.

         3.   The farmer must have declared winter crops on their 2012 SPS application.

         4.   The farmer must produce evidence, if requested, of having secured/ordered seed with the intention of sowing a winter crop

                5.    There is no requirement to notify the Department to avail of this derogation.


            Date Released: 26 October 2012