Farm organisation calls for ‘common sense’ as EU bans hay-saving during present summer weather

‘Unacceptable that a once in ten year’s opportunity to make real quality hay would be missed only a few months after we imported hay due to the catastrophic fodder crisis.’

Sligo News File

A farm body has called for a relaxation of an EU regulation under which farmers are banned from harvesting hay over the coming summer days.

Seamus Sherlock, chairman ICSA Rural Development Committee.

Participants in the GLAS programme are prohibited from saving hay before 1st July.

However, the restriction has come under fire from the chairman of the ICSA rural development committee Seamus Sherlock.

“It is unacceptable,” he argued, “that a once in ten year’s opportunity to make real quality hay would be missed only a few months after we imported hay due to the catastrophic fodder crisis.

“We do not want farmers to risk losing GLAS money for a breach of regulation but we have to have some common sense applied,” he said.

“We have already seen an extension secured for slurry spreading for nitrates derogation farmers to allow them until July 15 to have 50% of their slurry spread. However, hay making is far more weather sensitive.”

“Moreover,” he added, “farmers in GLAS are at the fore in actively farming in an environmentally friendly way and it would be very unfair that they are made to suffer looking at a hay meadow while the sun shines.”