Ineligible features such as buildings, roads, yards, scrub, rock and land burned since 1 March should be excluded from any BPS applications. Amendments can be made to applications until 31 May without penalty, or 9 June with a penalty.

The Department of Agriculture has said that its officials are obliged by EU regulations to analyse applications in order to identify ineligible features, including land which was burned during the specified closed season of 1 March to 31 August. Satellite imagery is being examined as part of this process.

Farmers are reminded that if they burn land after 1 March:

  • They risk prosecution.
  • Such land will not be eligible for payment under the Basic Payment Scheme and other area-based schemes.
  • Inclusion of illegally burned land in the 2018 Basic Payment Scheme application may result in reduced payment and penalties under this scheme and the other area-based schemes, eg Areas of Natural Constraints Scheme.
  • Illegal burning can also render the land of neighbours ineligible for payment where the fire encroaches on to such land.
  • Where it is identified that lands were burned during the closed season, this may result in such land being inspected by Department officials.
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