Like every farmer in Ireland, and probably Europe too, I’ve had my fair share of dealing with officialdom in the form of the Department of Agriculture, Food, and the Marine. Or as everyone simply calls it, “The Department”.

Last week brought the first face-to-face meeting when a Department man called to check sheep tags. I saw on his form later that it was in fact an SMR8 inspection. SMR stands for Statutory Management Requirement, and there are 13 of them that can be checked as part of cross-compliance.