A total of 78% of tillage farmers surveyed by the Irish Farmers Journal said they won’t avail of the 70% slurry storage grant announced in last week’s budget.

This is despite the fact that 40% of those surveyed already import slurry and 73% would consider importing slurry under a long-term arrangement to improve soil health and reduce reliance on artificial fertiliser. The grant is one solution from the Department of Agriculture to curb the impact of the nitrates derogation cut.

Participants in the survey, which covered 18 counties, said that distance away from slurry sources was an issue, while others stated that they believe livestock farmers do not want to export slurry.

Some outlined a fear that the long-term agreement needed to build the tank would fall through. Others explained that building slurry storage on rented land was not practical.

Some 25% of those surveyed already have livestock on their farms, while a further 10% provide winter grazing.

The majority of those surveyed were below stocking rate limits and had phosphorus allowances meaning slurry can be imported.