This was the thoughts of the ICMSA President, John Comer, following aÂ meeting with senior officials from the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment.
The meetingÂ was focused on the rules of applying organic fertilisers to lands and the concerns surrounding theÂ potential splash plate ban.
President Comer expressed confidence that there is no end date currently in site and says the continued use of said splash plates is accepted by officials.
Comer continued by saying theÂ ban of using splash plates would create a huge problem for many small family farms, already strugglingÂ to cope. He says this wouldÂ spell the end for such farms, which have been the backbone ofÂ rural economies for years.
Comer stated that is is fact that costs associated with sourcing alternative euipments are out of reach for most farmers, even with current levels of grant aid.
He also added thatÂ asÂ IrelandÂ and the production systems used by the majorities, eg bales of silage, makes the splashÂ plate the only viable option. He also added that these alternative systems do not work in practical farm situations.Â
Comer said,Â âICMSA believes that the current measures being adopted under GLAS and TAMS â with some further enhancements - and through information campaigns on the most appropriate time to spread organic fertiliser will enable Ireland to meet the EU targets set for us and we wonât need other measures. We particularly wonât need to consider obviously unworkable measures such as a future date for the banning of the splash plateâ.
John Comer concluded by stating his confidence that the department understand the impracticalities of imposing other systems and that it would not be implemented, âIâm very confident that the Department officials understood the practical impossibility of a ban on the use of splash plates and ICMSA trusts that such a unrealistic and unworkable proposal will not be implemented by the Departmentâ.