Almost 50% of agricultural appeals were disallowed in 2015

Some 45% of all agricultural scheme appeal cases taken in 2015 were disallowed, the latest figures from the Agricultural Appeals Office’s annual report for 2015.

The figures show that there were 672 cases closed in total, of which 383 related to appeals received in 2015.

The Agricultural Appeals Office figures also include 261 cases that were received in 2014, 19 cases received in 2013, eight cases received in 2012 and one case received in 2011.

Some 41% of the closed cases in 2015 were allowed, partially allowed or revised by the Department. In 14% of cases, appeals were withdrawn, invalid and out of time.

Meanwhile, the Land Parcel Identification System (LPIS) Eligibility Review Appeals Committee considered 232 cases in 2015.

It was established in October 2013 to consider appeals from farmers regarding the 2013 LPIS Eligibility Review.

Of the 232 cases, it was recommended that 20 cases be allowed, 14 cases partially allowed, 106 be disallowed, in 61 cases a Land Verification Check was recommended and 31 cases were deemed invalid or additional information was sought.

The Agriculture Appeals Office was established in 2002 to provide an independent appeals service to farmers who are dissatisfied with decisions of the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine concerning designated Schemes operated by the Department.

Meanwhile, Co. Cork had the highest number of agriculture appeals concerning schemes in 2015, the report found.

Farmers in the county lodged 83 appeals in 2015 in relation to schemes they were registered in.

Some 619 appeal cases were received by the office in 2015 compared with 610 in 2014, an increase of 1%.

Co. Galway had the next highest number of appeals with 67, followed by Mayo with 48 and Donegal with 42.

The counties with the lowest number of agriculture appeals were Louth (4), Carlow (5), Dublin (6) and Waterford (6).

Cross compliance checks for nitrates under the Single Farm Payment Scheme (now the Basic Payment Scheme) had the highest number of appeals with 144 claims.

Some 62 appeals were received in relation to the over-declaration of lands while 86 appeals were received under the Agri-Environment Options Scheme (AEOS).