Farmers unhappy with new height restrictions
The new ruling took effect at the start of this month and Patrick Rohan, chairman of the ICMSA Farm Services Committee, says the new maximum height of 4.65m is unrealistically low.
He points out that a tractor and trailer loaded three bales high with straw would be in breach of the restriction and he predicted very considerable confusion and extra costs on farmers.
The Kerry man stressed that no such restrictions are in place in the UK and believes that the "illogical and unnecessary restriction" will hamper Ireland's food production and exporting sectors while benefiting nobody. He has called on Minister Varadkar to reverse the decisions as soon as possible.
Meanwhile, ICSA president Gabriel Gilmartin stated that the new rules mean that only two rows of 4x4 round bales would be legal on lorries, while large square bales would only be legal if loaded three-high on most trailers. He feels that the rule could add €5-10 per bale to the cost of hauling hay and straw from the midlands and east to western counties.
"It is a restriction that is unworkable in practice and must be reversed as soon as possible," he contends.