The Irish Grain Growers Group (IGGG) has criticised the need for a grass lie-back to be in place beside a forage crop to be grazed by livestock over winter. The group has called on the Department and Minister for Agriculture to review the situation.

The requirement comes in under good agricultural and environmental standards in the new CAP.

Under these rules, a forage crop which is to be grazed over winter must have a 3m buffer on all sides and a grass lie-back must be available beside the forage crop. This lie-back must be equal in size to the forage crop.

'Cannot understand logic'

“We cannot understand the logic of the Department of Agriculture of late when it comes to livestock and tillage land,” the IGGG stated.

“The most efficient way to handle organic manures is to have livestock on tillage farms over winter, whether it's available livestock housing on site or grazing livestock on dedicated catch crops when conditions suit.

“This is where we believe the Department are taking backwards steps. This, in the face of the nitrates issue affecting tillage farmers directly in the land leasing market.”

The group said that the transportation of organic manures, especially slurry, adds cost to their use.


The group also criticised the new grazing date of 1 January for crops planted under ACRES.

They said that the grass lie-back requirement and the new grazing date under ACRES “will most definitely discourage livestock on to tillage farms over winter”.

They said it will put added pressure on livestock farmers facing nitrates derogation issues by reducing their options, as well as more organic manures being transported which is costly and will lead to more costly storage facilities being built.

“The relevant Departments and Ministers should review the situation urgently and not be adding to the pressure of nitrates being endured by farmers,” the group concluded.