The Association of Farm & Forestry Contractors in Ireland (FCI) is urging all contractors to ensure that safety remains a top priority as the slurry spreading season kicks off in some areas of the country.

While the entire country has moved into Level 5 restrictions, contractors are designated as essential services for agriculture and they will remain open for business as the slurry spreading season begins.

FCI is urging those working in the sector to take extra safety and sanitising precautions, as safety at slurry spreading takes on a new meaning in 2021.

“With the opportunity to be open for farm and forestry contractor businesses, comes the added responsibility not to add to any further risk of spreading this deadly COVID-19 virus. We urge all contractors to operate with the greatest care for their staff and customers alike.

“Double your efforts for the next few weeks, while doing your essential work, and this will help defeat the virus,” said FCI national chair John Hughes.

With many machinery dealerships and workshops to remain open for parts sales during the restrictions, the association is advising contractors to follow public safety guidelines by ordering parts in good time, either online or by phone for delivery.

The FCI said not to leave parts order requests until the last minute as supplies of parts may be slower due to a combination of the virus and Brexit changes.