Farm advisers and consultants who assist farmers in submitting their direct aid applications will receive training on land eligibility from this week.

The Department of Agriculture announced today (Tuesday), that it is holding a series of public meetings on land eligibility for farmers starting this week and it is also organising training events for consultants on land eligibility.

The move comes after the Department published a 29-page booklet for farmers and advisors on land eligibility, which outlined in detail different types of land, from rushes to scrub, and what is and is not eligible.

The move comes after pressure on the Department over land eligibility in recent weeks.

Some 10,918 appeals under the Land Parcel Identification Scheme (LPIS) have been received by the Department of Agriculture to date, according to the Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney.

According to the Department’s booklet, only ‘agricultural lands’ are eligible for EU payments.

Agricultural areas used for arable crops, vegetables, nurseries and land used to grow grass, be it naturally occurring grass or grass grown from seed, is eligible.

The definition of permanent grassland has changed under the revised CAP, the booklet says and permanent grassland includes productive ryegrass dominated swards, less productive swards that include rush and other non grass herbaceous species and grassland that includes heather which is grazable and where grass and herbaceous species are not redominant.