2021 National Reserve (Young Farmer/New Entrant) and Young Farmers Scheme
By Noel Mannion,
The National Reserve and Young Farmers Scheme provide vital financial assistance to young, trained farmers (aged forty and under) and new entrants (no age restriction) during the crucial years following “setting up” on the farm holding. The application deadline is the 17th May 2021 and has to be made online through www.agfood.ie.
The 2021 Young Farmers Scheme will provide eligible farmers with a top-up of approximately € 65.28 each on a maximum of fifty activated entitlements, for a period of up to five years depending on actual date of “set-up” and possible changes to the scheme in the future.
Successful applicants to the National Reserve in 2021 will receive an allocation of entitlements at the national average value (€181.32) on “naked land” or a top-up to the national average value. When “Greening” is added on, the payment for each activated entitlement will be €261.11.
Applicants are required to be a holder of a registered herd number in their own right or jointly in order to qualify for the National Reserve and Young Farmers Scheme. Applications for a herd number, or to be included on an existing herd number, must have been received by the local DVO by 17th May 2021. Applicants must submit a valid Basic Payment Scheme Application to the Department by 17th May 2021.
Young Farmers Scheme – Eligibility Conditions
Where a young farmer is the sole person on a herd number, s/he is aged no more than 40 years of age at any time during the calendar year in which s/he first submits an application under the Basic Payment Scheme. S/he must have successfully completed a recognised course of education in agriculture to FETAC level 6 or its equivalent by the 17th May 2021 and s/he is setting up as the head of an agricultural holding for the first time or has set up such a holding during the five years preceding the first submission of the Basic Payment Scheme application. S/he must activate Basic Payment Scheme entitlements in respect of 2021
Where a young farmer undertakes the farming activity as part of a group e.g. in a joint herd number, a registered farm partnership or a company, the young farmer’s name must be on the bank account and a declaration form confirming that the young farmer has effective control, either solely or jointly, must be completed and signed by all group members.
National Reserve - Young Farmer Category
The criteria to be eligible under the National Reserve - Young Farmer Category is the same as what is required under the Young Farmers Scheme when it comes to age, education and completing the declaration form to confirm that the young farmer has effective sole or joint control on the running of the farm. One additional condition is that gross off-farm income does not exceed €40,000 in one of the tax years 2019 or 2020. Where there is a joint herd number, all members of the group must declare their income and the combined income must be under €40,000 for the group to be eligible.
National Reserve – New Entrant Category
This National Reserve category is very different from the previous Young Farmer category in that it is for ‘New Entrants’ to farming and there is no age restriction. A ‘New Entrant’ is defined as someone who has commenced the present agricultural activity in the 2019 calendar year or any later year and s/he did not have any agricultural activity in his/her own name and at his/her own risk in the five years preceding the start of the present agricultural activity. Again as in all other categories outlined above s/he must have successfully completed a recognised course of education in agriculture to FETAC level 6 or its equivalent by the 17th May 2021. S/he cannot have a gross off-farm income that exceeds €40,000 in one of the tax years 2019 or 2020. Where a herd number that is registered on behalf of a group applies under the ‘new entrant’ category, all persons in control of the group must meet all conditions of the ‘new entrant’ category with the exception of the educational requirement. At least one of the persons in control of the group must meet the education requirements.
It is important if you consider that you might be eligible for the Young Farmers Scheme or National Reserve that you contact your local Agriculture Advisor as each individual situation will need to be looked at in detail prior to submission. You should familiarise yourself fully with the Terms and Conditions of these schemes. Amendments to applications are not possible once submitted.
Teagasc provides a Local Advisory and Education service to farmers. They have offices based in Roscommon Town (Tel: 090 6626166), Castlerea (Tel: 094 9620160) and Longford Town (Tel: 043 3341021), You can find us on Facebook @Teagascroscommonlongford and twitter @teagascRNLD. Email; RoscommonLongfordAdvisory@teagasc.ie