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Laws facts about Slurry Spreading Ireland

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Gerard Delaney Tipperary

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Sceala Irish Craic Forum Discussion:     Laws facts about Slurry Spreading Ireland

There are more cows in Ireland than people.
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The laws on slurry spreading in Ireland.

If only because of the fear of fines and EU laws, most farmers in Ireland can be considered as protectors of the land and careful of the local environment.
Never the less if they assume they can get away with it, then far too many farmers in Ireland are conveniently ignorant of laws, and some farmers in Ireland literally could not care less about anything or anyone else but their cows and profits.

Slurry Spreading Ireland
Contrary to what some selectively ignorant Irish farmers in Ireland want to believe- there are laws and regulations, directives on the spreading of slurry.

If you have a concern about slurry spreading and you take that concern to a typical old school Irish farmer, you might hear the following supposed wisdoms about slurry spreading.

"It's (Slurry) perfectly natural"

"never had anyone else complain" I have to spread it.

"It is my land I can do what I want"

Here is some news for farmers in Ireland who conveniently want to believe that if slurry is all perfectly natural.

A single cow defecating is perfectly natural.
But that is where the natural link between cow shit and slurry stops

It is not perfectly natural to collect the shit from hundreds of cows and then store it, to spread at once across a field.

There is nothing remotely natural about slurry spreading by machinery.

Slurry is a potentially extremely dangerous poison.

Tell that ignorant farmer in Ireland to try a teaspoon of their supposed natures wonder. Best to warn them that science suggests even a teaspoon of slurry digested by a human might cause their demise. Slurry is not good for you, if they insist on digestion they can expect to be very ill.

All Farmers in Ireland (not just some or most) need to be more responsible about their local environment and their neighbors.

Ireland is not your playground to do as you please.
If the Irish politicians are willing to turn a blind eye and blocked nose to your contamination - the EU is not.
The EU that provides the grants to work and produce otherwise unsustainable foods.

Laws on Slurry Spreading Ireland
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Typical sloppy Irish farmer method of care free slurry spreading.

Farmers are not allowed to spread any slurry within a minimum 25 metres of any domestic well.

Farmers are not allowed to spread any slurry within a minimum 50 metres of any group domestic well.

These are minimums, the recommend is 100 metres.

Animal Manures

1. Apply animal manures at rates which take account of the crop requirements. The shortfall between the nutrients applied in the manure and crop requirements should be made up with fertilisers.

2. Cattle slurry should be recycled to land conserved for hay or silage at not more than 55m3 per ha (5,000 gls per acre) per year, and not more than 33m3 /ha(3,000 gls per acre) in one application. Root crops can accept 44m3 /ha (4,000 gls per acre) in one application early in the growing season

3. Pig slurry should be applied at lower rates because of its higher phosphorus content. 27.5m3 /ha (2,500 gls per acre) may be applied for first cut silage and to root crops. 11m3 per ha (1,000 gls per acre) per year will normally be adequate for grazing and cereals

4. Slurry should be applied when plants require the nutrients ie as early as possible in the growing season

5. Farm Yard Manure (FYM) should be stored to minimise nutrient loss and applied to soil using Teagasc recommendations

6. Do not apply slurry when heavy rain is forecast within 48 hours

Farmers are responsible to check with Met …ireann

7. Do not apply slurry to soils that are saturated

8. Do not apply slurry when soils are frozen or snow covered

9. When applying slurry avoid direct contamination of watercourses by leaving adequate buffer strips.Streams and drains: 10metres- Lakes and rivers: 20metres- Domestic wells: 50metres- Public water sources: 50-300 metres

10. Maintain spreading equipment in prime condition and calibrate equipment for even application

11. Minimise slurry odour and nutrient losses to air by adopting a common sense approach∑ Avail of suitable weather conditions∑ Use of best practices

Band spreading is more environmentally friendly than a splash plate.

Farmers think about your neighbors not just your cows and profits.

These are EU directives and have heavy fines if broken.

Teagasc advice for slurry spreading is as follows:

Spread most of the slurry produced on the farm in the spring when weather conditions favour it most, rather than after silage has been cut in the summer;
When weather is suitable, apply 2,500-3,000ga of slurry to the paddocks and fields that you will be grazing first, at least six weeks before turnout;
Paddocks that have heavy covers of grass should not get slurry until immediately after they are grazed;
Reduce the amount of N needed for first-cut silage by spreading slurry on those fields first. When fields are grazed and closed for silage, apply 2,500-3,000ga of cattle slurry before applying any bagged N. You can then reduce the amount of bagged N spread by taking into account the units that have been supplied in this slurry;
Spread slurry on dull and slightly wet days;
Donít spread slurry when there is heavy rain forecast or there is a heavy ground frost;
Donít apply slurry to fields with heavy covers of grass until they are grazed first;
Donít apply slurry on dry sunny days where there is a strong breeze/wind;
Donít apply slurry on top of bagged fertiliser.

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