FARMERS have been urged to check farm maps as soon as possible to identify errors which could impact on future Single Farm Payments.
Cookstown councillor Sean Clarke advised farmers to scrutinise the new Land Parcel Identification System (LPIS) maps, sent out this month and advise DARD of any errors or changes.
Councillor Clarke said: “If farmers are in any doubt, I strongly advise them to request an appointment with a DARD Advisor as soon as possible.
“Unfortunately, if the maps remain inaccurate, this could lead to delays in processing the 2013 Single Farm Payment and in the current economic climate this is something which farmers will want to avoid,” he said.
“DARD and Land and Property Services staff are available in the DARD Direct offices to help farmers make the necessary changes. To date, there has been generally positive feedback from the farming community regarding the professionalism and helpfulness of staff, with a small number of farmers reporting that there are problems with the accuracy of farm boundaries.
He added: “The data used to produce these updated maps will be used to pre-print the Single Farm Payment application for 2013 and the Department has set a cut-off date of 22nd February to make any amendments. If farmers do not make the necessary changes by this date, then the pre-printed information on the Single Application form will not be up-to-date and could create difficulties. “I understand that in order to cope with demand DARD Direct are extending opening hours to facilitate weekend and evening appointments.