More farmers appealed Department of Agriculture decisions on the Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) and Beef Exceptional Aid Measure (BEAM) in 2022 than any other farming schemes.

There were 122 appeals concerning each of these schemes made by farmers last year, along with 89 on the Beef Data and Genomics Programme (BDGP) and another 45 on the Green, Low-carbon, Agri-environment Scheme (GLAS).

A total of 635 appeals were received by the Agricultural Appeals Office last year, back 22% on the year previous, with 44% of these appeals granted in part or in full by the office.

Some 73 of the decisions overturned by the office concerned BPS appeals, while another 49 and 43 cases sided with farmers on disputed BDGP and GLAS decisions.

Only 284 of the 930 appeals closed by the office in 2022 were appeals that had been put in by farmers in 2022.

The office’s figures show that 497 of the appeals had been made in 2021 and 131 in 2020, with some of the appeal cases closed dating as far back as 2016.

Of the 635 appeals closed, 255 were allowed to some degree while the Department revised its decision on 153 cases, including those revised before the appeals process was concluded.

The office said that the main reason for the Department going back on an initial decision was farmers providing additional information on their circumstances not previously known to the Department.