EU Commissioner Phil Hogan has made it his priority to simplify the CAP in 2015. Over Christmas, I asked farmers to help by highlighting what they wanted to simplify in 2015.

Here are some of the responses. If you have any more send them to

Sheep identification

  • I would like to see the national sheep identification system simplified. I believe that it is a shambles, no-one knows how to tag properly or fill dispatch dockets properly, or look up the system to see what is recorded for them. The cattle system is the opposite to all of the above.
  • Inspections

  • The Department should clearly separate out no notice and notice inspections and allow farmers the option of not carrying out the notice inspection at the same time. I have been in a situation where I felt under pressure to continue with the notice inspection.
  • A yellow card system needs to be introduced for small issues that the farmer can easily correct.
  • A penalty must be notified on the day and not increase at a later date. I got a 1% penalty cross compliance and the following year it was increased to 3% as I had insufficient storage for slurry. I asked a specialist to measure it and I had plenty, but when we dug deeper we found that the guidance for FYM is sheds had been changed in 2013 despite there being nothing in the regulation to change it.
  • Payments to farmers who get inspected should not be delayed. This situation happens two often as paperwork delays the payments even when no issues of penalty has been identified.
  • Appeal must be heard in definite time frame. This has not been the case in my experience.
  • Consistency in DVOs

  • We should record how long it takes from application to when the herd number is issued in all DVOs to establish best practice and simplify the process.