The Department’s new online system to record slurry and manure transfers is not ready to go live on 1 July, IFA pigs committee chair Roy Gallie and poultry committee chair Andy Boylan have said.

“We have trialled the online system and encountered very obvious system failures.

"It must be made much more user friendly and we have asked DAFM officials to consider our suggested amendments,” they said.

Under the current DAFM policy, all slurry exports must be submitted online through the portal.

The new system will replace the almost 16,000 paper forms submitted annually by farmers.

Accommodate farmers

The IFA has called for a transitional period allowing for both online and paper recording to be implemented.

The association also called for the Department to ensure the system accommodates farmers who are uncomfortable or unable to use online services.

“We are very supportive of any measures that will encourage and facilitate the optimal use of organic manures to fertilise land and displace the need for imported artificial fertilisers, but the online requirement due to be implemented in two weeks’ time with an untried system is premature and will have negative consequences,” the committee chairs said.