New proposals to quadruple the amount of storage required on farms for soiled water, have left many farmers unable to accurately assess the costs of compliance.

From next year, it is proposed that the spreading of soiled water will be banned for a 60-day period over the winter and a minimum of four weeks of soiled water storage must be in place on all farms by the end of 2024.

Many builders are unable or unwilling to quote for jobs at present. Steel mesh, which is a key component of concrete tanks, is difficult to source and is said to have increased in price by about 150% over the last 12 months.

Analysis by the Irish Farmers Journal shows that a 100-cow dairy farmer producing milk over the winter months will need 150m3 of soiled water storage, costing €18,000 if building costs are €120/m3.