A further extension for spreading under the National Liming Programme until the end of December needs to be announced by Minister McConalogue, according to the Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA) development chair John Curran.

With a current deadline of 28 June, Curran called for common sense to apply and said that while “extensions earlier this year helped, the persistent wet weather for much of the period since, coupled with heavy grass covers, has significantly diminished opportunities to spread lime.”

“We are getting reports from suppliers, particularly those in the west, that only 20-30% of prepaid lime has been delivered and spread to date. This is concerning,” he said.


Ensuring they have enough winter fodder will be a priority for many farmers this year and getting multiple silage crops will be on the cards.

Curran said that there is a danger that some farmers may apply lime onto silage ground between harvests to comply, but that “this would have significant consequences on silage quality and must be avoided.”

“Ultimately, practicality and common sense should apply. Farmers need additional time to make full use of the benefits of scheme. This will allow them to better plan for the weeks and months ahead, particularly during this very busy time of year,” he said.

“The extension would also prove resource efficient from a Department perspective, saving having to claw back monies at a later date. We are engaging with the Department on the matter, and we will continue to press the Minister to come out sooner rather than later with a further extension,” he concluded.