There is a lot of misleading information circulating with regard to this thorny subject.  Calls are being made to change legislation to allow cutting on the grounds of Safety.

Provision is made in current legislation to allow for the cutting of hedges/trees etc. if they pose a threat to public health and safety.  This includes situations where visibility on roads and at access/egress points is compromised also where road signs may be obstructed. You must contact your local authority before carrying out any work during the closed period from 1st March to 31st August.

Contractors should take the opportunity to organise a work programme in advance with their farmer clients to be ready for work to be carried out between Sepember and February.

Agricultural Contractors are advised to be cautious when using diesel additives.  Always check with your machinery manufacturer BEFORE purchasing any such additives to ensure that their use will not affect your warranty.  

DANGERS OF PAYING EMPLOYEES “OFF THE BOOKS” You will be aware that one aspect of the Black Economy (now known as the Shadow Economy), is paying employees (or some employees) in an “off the books”  arrangement.  Revenue has recently published an article outlining an employers obligations to keep and maintain a Register of Employees.  Revenue staff may ask to see this Register during the course of visits, spot checks and audits and there are penalties for non-compliance.
To view the Revenue article please Click Here 


Dear Contractor,

Limerick County Council is the primary agency with responsibility for implementation of the Water Pollution Acts and the Good Agriculture Practice Regulations (sometimes referred to as The Nitrates Regulations or The GAP Regulations) within County Limerick.

Please be aware that you, as an Agricultural Contractor, have a duty of care to ensure that agricultural activities carried out by you do not in any way threaten the quality of waters within County Limerick.

It is your responsibility to ensure that you are fully aware of your obligations in relation to the above legislation, particularly in relation to slurry spreading activities.

The prohibited periods for land spreading are as follows:

Chemical Fertilizers              15 September to 15 January
Organic Fertilizers                15 October to 15 January
Farmyard Manure                1 November to 15 January

You are reminded that fertilisers or soiled water shall not be applied to land in any of the following circumstances :

1)      The land is water-logged
2)      The land is flooded or likely to flood
3)      The land is snow-covered or frozen
4)      Heavy rain is forecast within 48 hours
5)      The ground slopes steeply giving rise to a significant risk of water pollution
6)      By use of an umbilical system with an upward-facing splash plate
7)      By use of a tanker with an upward-facing splash plate
8)      By use of a sludge irrigator mounted on a tanker
9)      From a road or passageway adjacent to the land irrespective of whether or not the road or passageway is within or outside the curtilage of the holding.

Please be aware that the Council can take legal proceedings against persons found to be in breach of the requirements of the above legislation, this includes agricultural contractors working on behalf of farmers. Where any such breaches are found such persons shall be liable,

a)      on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding €5,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 3 months or,
b)      on conviction on indictment to a fine not exceeding €500,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding one year or to both such fine and such        imprisonment.

NOTE – It has come to our attention that there has been a very significant increase in the use of the “Umbilical System” for slurry spreading.  This system shall not be used for spreading slurry on waterlogged lands. Legal proceedings will be taken where inappropriate use of this system is encountered.

Should you have any further queries please contact Mr. Aidan Leonard, Agricultural Scientist, Environment Section, on 061 496557.