FARMERS WHO break the rules of the single farm payment risk being caught by new satellite technology designed to snare cash cheats.

The satellite, which has undergone trials on land in the UK, is equipped with imagery equipment capable of measuring field margins and inspecting hedgerows and footpaths, reports The Times .

About 5% of the 70,000 farms in the UK will be inspected each year for the Rural Payments Agency.

“I think it‘s a great anti-fraud measure, especially from countries where past administration of farm payments has not been as rigorous as in Britain,” Tim Bennett, NFU president, told the paper.

“Most farmers are honest and want cheats to be caught, but we have to make sure there are safeguards on people‘s privacy,” he added.