High levels of inspection penalties spurs Teagasc to launch education drive
One-in-five farmers inspected last year were penalised for not complying with nitrates rules last year.
This was just one of the figures revealed to more than 350 farmers at a recent cross-compliance open day in Kildalton College.
With nearly 7,000 farm inspections being carried out by Department and local authority staff this year, Teagasc has kicked off a big drive to try to help farmers understand exactly what is expected of them during an inspection.
Sheep farmers were the second most likely to be penalised.
Almost one in six were punished for not fully complying with the cross-compliance rules that govern EU farm payments.
The average penalty imposed on farmers last year was €660, according to Teagasc's environmental specialist, Tim Hyde.
Advisors at the open day highlighted the areas where farmers were most likely to face problems. Cattle identification and registration are the most common reasons for penalties or queries following an inspection.