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The ins and outs of a Share Farming Agreement

Share Farming Agreement

In this article, That’s Farming looks at Greening Share Farming Agreement Recognition.

According to the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, recognition of share farming agreement allows farmers to apply for direct payments under their share farming agreement.

It states that recognised share farming agreements are fully compliant with direct payment support schemes.

Share farming involves two or more farming businesses on the same land area, involving both a landowner and a share farmer. Both of these parties share benefits and risks.

Trust and discussion on all aspects of the business are essential parts of making a successful shared farming agreement.

Moreover, officially implement this agreement before commencing the shared farming business. A legal agreement allows for protection for both parties if difficulties arise.

Getting involved

Furthermore, to become recognised and fully compliant with the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, a farmer must abide by the terms and conditions, which include:

  • Submit a share farming agreement;
  • Sign an application form, which all the share farmers should do;
  • No payments between farmers;
  • Share farmers involved should declare all of the land declared in the application;
  • Recognise agreement and place on a register;
  • All parties involved must contribute to the financial costs, and share profits;
  • Include land owned by each share farmer in the application for a share farming agreement;
  • Participants or their agricultural consultant will apply for the direct payments under one application.

The agreement is an official application, and will require the following information:

  • Herd numbers;
  • Name and address of the primary participant;
  • Registered address for correspondence;
  • Share farming arrangement;
  • All land details of those share farmers who are participating in the agreement in the relevant scheme year.

Moreover, the first stage of the application is to submit the share farming agreement, accompanied by a share farming application form. You can find these documents at

Following this stage, the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine reviews your application.

Providing that your application is successful, all parties involved in the agreement will receive a unique share farming number. All land declared by farmers in their Basic Payment Scheme applications will be united under one single application.

An agricultural consultant makes an annual application for direct aid schemes using the share farming unique number. One Basic Payment Scheme application is lodged on behalf of all parties.


There are a number of minimum requirements, which the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine has set out to be recognised as an official arrangement.

  • In the case that the primary participant has a number of share farm agreements, all parties involved must sign agreements. Submit to the Department of Agriculture, Food, and the Marine.
  • All parties involved in the agreement will contribute to financial inputs and evenly distribute gross ouputs. No fixed annual payments between parties will be made.
  • All share farmers should sign and complete the application form. Submit to the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine by the Basic Payment Scheme deadline.

When applying for the Basic Payment Scheme under a share farm arrangement, there are a number of points that applicants should consider, including:

  • Submit application online;
  • Late submission penalties for the Basic Payment Scheme;
  • Should the DAFM conduct an inspection, all share farmers involved in the arrangement are subject to inspection;
  • DAFM will assess compliance assessments with eligibility provisions at agreement level;
  • If you terminate the agreement, inform the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine of the date of termination;
  • In the instance that the DAFM instructs a reduction in payment for eligibility issues, it will apply this separately at farmer level on individual entitlement values;
  • However, a cross-compliance non-compliance will be processed across all parties involved in the share farm arrangement. In some circumstances, the DAFM may allocate the non-compliance to an individual within the arrangement. For example, if the DAFM finds the farmer to be non-compliant under an individual issue, such as an AIM issue, it will confine this penalty to this single farmer.

While there are some differentiations around the concept of share farming businesses, there are also benefits for both the landowner and the share farmer.

The landowner retains ownership and full control of the land; this is to ensure that you can farm to the highest standards. The process can also be compliant with all support schemes.

The agreement of share farming businesses allows for increased buying and selling power, as farmers form part of a larger unit. The increment in area allows for more competitive purchasing and selling, as well as reducing fixed costs.

You can adjust the agreement you form to suit the individual landowner situation. Furthermore, there are no upfront or other unseen payments, and input costs and shared between farmers.

Lastly, the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine approves share farming, and it is fully compliant with support schemes including the Basic Payment Scheme.

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