Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue announced that lime applied for under the national liming programme can be delivered and spread up until 31 March 2024.
However, importantly for farmers, the deadline for submitting invoices marked as being paid to the Department of Agriculture remains 31 October 2023.
This will facilitate farmers receiving their lime and spreading it after they pay for it and submit the required documentation to the Department by the 31 October deadline.
Minister McConalogue said that the move to grant flexibility on spreading dates was made to due to poor spreading conditions in many parts of the country in recent weeks.
“I recognise that weather conditions during 2023 resulted in significant challenges to the spreading of lime which diminished opportunities to avail of this support,” the Minister commented when announcing the new deadline.
“To address this challenge, I am today providing important flexibility for farmers that purchase lime in 2023 but spread it when ground conditions are more optimum which could be into early 2024.
“This will allow latitude to farmers to purchase lime but await delivery and spreading until conditions allow, with the latest date for spreading being 31 March 2024.”
The Department has said that receipts can be submitted without the need to confirm that spreading has been completed, but further checks will be carried out in spring 2024 to ensure that lime applied for has been spread.
This will involve additional documentation being sought from farmers, such as those which could show that lime was delivered.
The Department also reiterated that invoices must be marked as paid to allow payments issue promptly.