Limerick council issues reminder to farmers ahead of silage season

green tractor farming in field
Stock photo.

AHEAD of silage season, Limerick City and County Council (LCCC) has issued a reminder to farmers about their obligations around the collection and storage of silage effluent.

Farmers are obliged to collect, store, and manage silage effluent in accordance with the requirements set out in European Union regulations.

Under the Good Agricultural Practice for Protection of Waters Regulations 2022, farmers must collect, store, and manage all effluents that come from the silage making practice in a way to ensure that water quality is not impacted.

Silage effluent has about 200 times more polluting power than raw domestic sewage, a statement from LCCC said.

Before making pit silage, farmers should ensure that the silage base and associated collecting channels are free from defect, the council urged. Where repairs are required, farmers are asked to seek professional advice.

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While making silage, the local authority added, farmers should know how much silage their slab is capable of storing and check regularly that all effluents are being collected.

They should also ensure that their pit cover extends beyond the pit opening to avoid toxic gases escaping.

The council also reminded farmers that where silage effluent is landspread, it should be diluted at least 1:1 with slurry, and  that adequate buffer zones are maintained to ensure waters are protected.

In the event that silage effluent is observed leaking, farmers must ensure measures are taken to prevent entry to surface or ground waters.

Farmers are obliged to report any such issue to LCCC on 061 556 000 or 061 417 833 (out of hours).