Slurry deadline extended

Slurry spreading.
Slurry spreading.

The wettest summer in Scotland for 80 years has posed problems for farmers in nitrate-vulnerable zones as they have been prevented from spreading slurry due to the poor weather.

Now, after pressure from the National Farmers’ Union, the Scottish Government has agreed to look sympathetically at cases where poor weather has stopped spreading their slurry before the official dealine.

Decisions on leniency will be made on a case-by-case basis as to whether derogation will be granted to those who have missed the deadline.

Borders’ farmers had approached MSP Rachael Hamilton for assistance after applications to spread slurry past the deadline were refused.

After Scottish Government officials backed down, the Ettrick, Roxburgh and Berwickshire MSP said: “Finally, the Scottish Government has seen sense. This is welcome news for Borders farmers, and I hope now the Scottish Government can shift a gear and get on with helping them.

“The debate I had with a Scottish Government official on how much rain had fallen, when on record it has been Scotland’s wettest summer for 80 years, was surreal.

“Farmers have been hugely concerned for their livelihoods because the Scottish Government refused to listen to their cries for help, refused to listen the NFU and MSPs, until now. Why the delay in offering assistance to our agricultural communities?”

, why the reluctance to offer help?”