The Cathaoirleach of the Oireachtas Agriculture Committee, and Fianna Fáil TD for Tipperary, Jackie Cahill has called on the Minister for Agriculture to extend the deadline for the spreading of chemical nitrogen this year.
Deputy Cahill made the calls as farmers have failed to get a second cut of silage saved due to the extremely dry conditions restricting grass growth.
Concerns about sufficient fodder supplies have been raised since late 2021 as farmers cut back on fertiliser use as it tripled in price. The situation is compounded by weather conditions and expected shortages of meal feedstuffs for livestock due to the war in Ukraine. Deputy Cahill noted that the Minister had allowed similar leeway in 2018 due to a fodder crisis at the time. The Thurles based TD has written to the Minister for Agriculture to seek a change in deadline and says there is an opportunity for late grazing and a second silage cut if some flexibility is allowed. The use of nitrogen is restricted in the Autumn and Winter to reduce the amount leaching into water bodies.