Elliott calls to push back slurry ban

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Ulster Unionist MP Tom Elliott has written to the Minister of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs, Michelle McIlveen urging her to extend the period in which farmers are allowed to spread slurry on their land.

Commenting on the slurry ban period Mr Elliott said that farmers need more time given this summer’s poor weather.

“The inclement weather has also meant that livestock have been kept indoors for longer, and haven’t been out in fields as long as farmers would have liked.”

Tom Elliott, MP

Mr Elliott said: “Having been contacted by constituents, I have written to Minister McIlveen asking to allow more time for farmers to spread their slurry.

“The slurry ban is due to come into effect on 14th October, but due to the inclement weather during our summer it has been impossible for slurry to be spread in an environmentally safe way.

“The inclement weather has also meant that livestock have been kept indoors for longer, and haven’t been out in fields as long as farmers would have liked.”

He continued: “The combination of these two factors have meant a huge surplus of slurry building up in many famers tanks, and with the ban due to come into effect in the middle of October, alleviating the surplus is currently very difficult, indeed practically impossible as it is dependent on dry weather.”

Mr Elliott added that there was a pressing need for the minister to push back the date.

Mr Elliott continued: “In 2012 the period in which slurry could be spread was extended to allow slurry to be spread beyond 15th October.

“Areas like Fermanagh have been particularly badly hit with inclement weather and this has meant many farmers have been unable to spread their slurry.”

He concluded: “I would ask the minister to look into this with the hope that the ban is pushed back to enable farmers to spread their slurry.”