The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) has reached out to approximately 8,000 farmers after potential agri-scheme application issues were detected on their land parcels through a satellite inspection system. The Area Monitoring System (AMS) is mandatory across all EU member states since January 1, this year, as part of the new Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) to monitor farming activity. The system, used for the past two years to monitor the Protein Aid Scheme, is being rolled out on a phased basis and replaces the land eligibility inspections previously carried out by the department.
This year, the AMS satellite system will monitor all applicants under the Basic Income Support for Sustainability (BISS) Scheme; Areas of Natural Constraint (ANC); Complementary Redistributive Income Support for Sustainability (CRISS); Straw Incorporation Measure (SIM); and the Protein Aid Scheme. It is anticipated that AMS will be used to check compliance with the new Agri-Climate Rural Environment Scheme (ACRES) along with other schemes from 2024.
At a CAP farmer clinic held by the department in Tralee, Co. Kerry this week, it was stated that the AMS, which uses open source satellites, will be looking for hard features, such as yards, roads and dwelling houses, which have not been “redlined” or deducted out of an area in a scheme application. The system will also look for the crop type declared by farmers and the agricultural activity being carried out in each land parcel.
The department will be sending out notifications to farmers on June 24, in relation to ineligible hard features detected by the AMS. There will be two further rounds of notifications for farmers in August and September focused on crop declarations. DAFM Michael Moloney, senior inspector with the DAFM, told the meeting that the department has already used AMS to help farmers with their BISS applications.
“We’ve already written out to approximately 8,000 farmers where we’ve identified potential artificial hard features, roadways, farm yards, extensions, house sites,” he said. “We basically notified farmers of those so they can go in and have a look at those parcels and make the necessary amendments before they lodge their BISS.”
Moloney said that a key benefit of AMS is that farmers can amend their application after receiving notice of a potential problem any time up to 15 days before BISS payments commence in October. The department said that it is very important for any farmer who receives an AMS notification that either they or their advisor engages with the department.
The AMS system is an important tool in ensuring that farmers are in compliance with the new CAP regulations. The system is designed to detect any potential problems with applications and give farmers the opportunity to make the necessary changes before payments commence. The system uses open source satellites to detect hard features and crop types, ensuring that farmers are accurately reporting their activities.
The department has already used the system to help farmers with their BISS applications, sending notifications to approximately 8,000 farmers who were found to have potential issues with their applications. Farmers who receive notifications from the department are encouraged to engage with the department or their advisor to ensure that any necessary changes are made before payments commence.
Overall, the AMS system is an important step forward in ensuring that farmers are accurately reporting their activities and in compliance with the new CAP regulations. The system will continue to be rolled out on a phased basis, monitoring more and more schemes as time goes on. It is anticipated that the system will be used to check compliance with the new Agri-Climate Rural Environment Scheme (ACRES) along with other schemes from 2024.