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Ulster mapping errors

NORTHERN IRELAND'S farmers have been warned that some of the new maps prepared by the province's Department of Agriculture have a systemic error that has missed out fields.

Agriculture Michelle O'Neill is pictured with Armagh farmer John Bloomer and Peter Hughes from the mapping improvement project at the DARD Direct Office in Armagh. The Minister is encouraging farmers to check their new maps as soon as they receive them. She said: Farmers need to examine these maps and contact their local office to make an appointment as soon as possible if any of the information is incorrect.
Agriculture Michelle O'Neill is pictured with Armagh farmer John Bloomer and Peter Hughes from the mapping improvement project at the DARD Direct Office in Armagh. The Minister is encouraging farmers to check their new maps as soon as they receive them. She said: Farmers need to examine these maps and contact their local office to make an appointment as soon as possible if any of the information is incorrect.

Ulster farm minister Michelle O'Neill stressed that the onus now fell on farmers to quickly check their maps and flag up any such mistakes for correction.

"I am aware a problem has occurred with the production of some of the maps, with a number of them missing fields that were declared by the farmer in the 2012 scheme period," admitted Mrs O'Neill. "This particular problem is restricted to a sub-set of maps within the last batch produced.

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"It is vitally important that farmers check their maps and report necessary changes. This remains the case, including for those farmers who find there are fields missing from their maps. If a farmer has a problem with his/her maps, they should contact their local DARD Direct office and arrange an appointment," she stressed.

"We will provide replacement maps for affected farmers and will work directly with them/agents to make sure that they have the necessary information in time to complete their Single Application Forms.

"I regret this problem has occurred and am grateful to all the farmers and their agents who have been working closely with us," she added. "I hope to continue to work in this way to develop a stable mapping system which is accurate and can support farmers making accurate claims for area-based schemes. "

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