DEAR SIR: Milk and slurry – these are the end products of our dairy farmers in pursuit of better returns from their land.
The milk goes out the gate in one tanker and the slurry is taken to the fields in another. There are strict guidelines regarding the spreading of slurry, which are not being adhered to in Ireland.
Depending on the area of the country you are in, slurry spreading starts in January or February.
These months have seen high rainfall amounts in the last number of years. The slurry cannot be absorbed by waterlogged land and ends up in our streams and rivers.
In the 1980s, our rivers were alive with fish and micro-organisms, but since the introduction of slurry, they have become sterile and another means to transport waste water off the land.
The structure of the soil has been adversely affected also. It’s been compacted by larger and heavier machinery, so much so no earthworms or microbes can be sustained.
The fields are being turned into concrete yards that grow grass.