UFU Welcome change to farm maps timetable

The Ulster Farmers Union has welcomed Agriculture Minister Michelle O’Neill’s decision to delay the issuing of Single Farm Payment application packs by two weeks, for those farmers who received new farm maps that had a considerable number of fields missing from them.   

UFU President Harry Sinclair said; “The Minister’s decision should simplify the process and ease the pressures on farmers to ensure that their farm maps are accurate.  While the issuing of new 2013 maps by DARD has caused a lot of confusion and problems for many farmers, nevertheless we welcome Minister O’Neill’s decision to accept the UFU proposal to delay the issuing of Single Farm Payment application packs by two weeks for those farmers whose maps are missing a considerable number of fields.  Farmers affected by this problem have until the 8th March to advise DARD of any necessary changes, allowing any amendments associated with these maps to be made.  The changes made can then be incorporated into the pre-printed field data sheets on their Single Farm Payment forms before they are issued. Our members have made it very clear to us that they would much prefer to receive a correctly pre-printed Single Farm Payment application a little later, rather than receiving an incorrect one earlier.”

The errors relating to missing fields in some of the last batch of farm maps issued have now been fixed and are available from DARD Direct offices or through DARD’S Online Services.

Mr. Sinclair continued; “We also proposed to DARD that they also delay the issuing of Single Farm Payment application packs to those farmers who had received fully completed maps but had difficulty obtaining an appointment at a DARD Direct Office before 22 February. However, unfortunately no action has been taken on this issue to date.”