A further extension to the National Liming Programme has been announced by the Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue.

Farmers now have until Thursday 31 October 2024 to spread lime purchased under the scheme.

Minister McConalogue said he had hoped the previous extension, announced in March, would allow ground conditions to improve to allow the spreading of lime.

“It is clear that soil trafficability has not improved sufficiently in some parts of the country and a further extension is now required.”

“Information from quarries estimates that a little over 30% of pre-paid lime has been spread to date, with this figure being lower in certain parts of the country.

“With the previous deadline fast approaching, I am extending the spreading date until the end of October to give all farmers the opportunity to apply lime as per the conditions of the scheme,” he added.

Advance payments

Over 14,500 claims were submitted under the scheme, with advance payments issued to farmers in December 2023.

Payments were conditional on the purchase of lime no later than 7 November 2023 and subsequent spreading before the end of June.

The Department said there will be no further extension beyond the October date as balancing payments are required to be processed and made in 2024.

The Liming Programme was introduced by Minister McConalogue in spring 2023 to incentivise the use of lime as a natural soil conditioner to correct soil acidity, make nutrients more available for plant uptake and improve overall soil health.