MINISTER of Agriculture and Rural Development, Michelle O’Neill MLA, has announced that the third and final batch of farm maps is now being sent to farmers.
Minister O’Neill stated: “Farmers will be aware that my department is issuing maps to all claimants of area-based schemes from last year. The third and final batch of maps should be in the post today (Wednesday) and arrive with farmers over the next couple of days. These maps differ from ones provided during the 2012 Single Application period, in that, in addition to identifying many ineligible features, the boundaries of fields have been reviewed in line with aerial photography.”
The minister further advised: “I would urge all farmers to examine their map when they get it. If they notice any changes which need to be made, they should make the department aware of these to ensure that their map reflects the reality on the ground. This can be done either through completing and posting the correction form enclosed with the map, or by contacting their local DARD Direct office (0300 200 7848) to make an appointment.
“Some maps in this final batch will arrive with farmers a little later than was hoped. I have asked for DARD Direct office hours to be extended if it is not possible to accommodate all appointments during the normal working day.”
As well as sending all farmers a printed copy of their map, maps are also available to view online through the RuralNI website http://www.dardni.gov.uk/onlineservices
If any farm business has not received a map by 11 February they should contact their DARD Direct Office so that the matter can be investigated.
Guidance on what to check and how to react to the maps has been issued in the maps pack and is also available on the DARD internet site under the ‘Grants & Funding’ section.
DARD expects to issue revised farm maps to businesses which have made map amendments alongside the issue of the Single Application From packs in March.