A recent comment by Irish Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed that he would like to see a change to land eligibility rules that would allow “farmers to retain non-productive green features” is noteworthy, if perhaps coming a little too late.

In the years after the introduction of area-based payments in 2005, a number of countries, including NI, were hit with large penalties for deficiencies in their mapping systems and, in particular, for allowing farmers to claim payments on ineligible land.