The extension of the spreading date for lime purchased under the national liming programme is a practical move that will “alleviate pressure on farmers”, the Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA) has said.

IFA rural development chair John Curran said extending the deadline to Friday 28 June is common sense, given the challenging weather conditions in recent months.

“Weather conditions in recent times have greatly limited the opportunities for farmers to spread lime.

“The announcement of this extension will alleviate pressure on farmers and enable them to optimise lime application for enhanced soil fertility and environmental sustainability," he said.

First cut

Curran added that lime must be properly applied to maximise its benefits.

"Given that much of the silage ground will not be available for spreading of lime until after the first cut of silage at the earliest, this extension is a more practical move and will assist farmers in embracing more sustainable agricultural practices,” he said.

Some 14,500 farmers submitted claims for lime purchased under the programme, but poor land conditions resulting from heavy rainfall have made it difficult to meet the original deadline of 31 March.