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Teagasc Welcomes the Extension of the Remit for Farm Partnerships announced in Budget 2013

In the 2013 Budget, the Minister for Finance, Michael Noonan announced an expansion in the coverage of Farm Partnerships from dairy to also include farm partnerships involved in enterprises such as beef, sheep and tillage.

Farm Partnerships enable farmers to work together in collaboration to share costs and facilities and to combine expertise to increase farm outcomes such as output, profit and leisure.

Professor Cathal O’Donoghue, Head of the Teagasc Rural Economy and Development Programme welcomed this initiative “The broadening of the definition of registered partnerships to include all types of farm enterprises is a welcome change as many farmers have expressed an interest in farming together. It is commendable that the Minister has reacted positively to these suggestions in such a tightened fiscal climate. Teagasc are working closely with the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine to make Farm Partnerships a success. We have increased our resources in the area, running a nationwide advisory campaign in 2012. In early 2013 a new initiative will be announced to further increase the uptake and success of the Farm Partnerships and other collaborative farming arrangements such as share farming, leasing, producer groups and contract rearing of dairy replacements.”

Ben Roche, Teagasc’s Collaborative Farming Specialist, who originally helped to establish the Milk Production Partnership Scheme, has commented that “Today’s announcement by the Minister will lead to a substantial increase in the number of farmers entering into partnership. Farmers farming in partnership are likely to have a more sustainable future due to factors such as opportunity to increase scale, better management decisions, improved skills mix and a better lifestyle, and on family farms a partnership can facilitate the transfer of the farming business from one generation to the next. There are also substantial financial incentives to join farm partnerships. Young qualified farmers in beef partnerships will be now be able to avail of 100% stock relief and all other partners in such registered partnerships will qualify for stock relief at 50% as opposed to the standard rate of 25%.”