Extensions welcomed for ACRES and liming

THE extension of two deadlines by the Dept. of Agriculture in relation to hedge planting and the liming scheme, has been welcomed by farmer representatives.

In the changes announced last week, Minister for Agriculture, Charlie McConalogue, said that the date extensions for the schemes took into account the challenges posed by the weather [exceptionally heavy rainfall] since last July.

Over 14,500 farmers across successfully applied for inclusion in the National Liming Programme but some of those couldn’t get the lime spread due to adverse weather and ground conditions.

The original deadline for the spreading of lime in the scheme had been March 31, 2024, but in the latest change, this has now been extended to Friday, June 28, 2024.

Minister McConalogue said that this flexibility would give farmers an opportunity to apply lime when ground conditions are more favourable.

“The purpose of the scheme was to incentivise the use of lime as a natural soil conditioner which corrects soil acidity, make nutrients more available for plant uptake and improves overall soil health,” said the Minister.

Last week, the Dept. of Agriculture also confirmed that the deadline for the planting of hedgerows in the ACRES environmental scheme had been extended to March, 2025.

According to IFA Rural Development Chair, John Curran farmers had faced a number of obstacles to carrying out the planting of hedgerows including the lack of native supplies and very poor weather conditions.

Pictured: Charlie McConalogue: Weather issues had to be taken into account.   

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune:

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