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Get Your 2022 Basic Payment Form Completed Correctly!

15 March 2022
Type Media Article

Patricia Lynch, Drystock Advisor, Teagasc Westport.

Most farmers will have received their 2022 Basic Payment application and maps in the post. This form is the application for many schemes, for example, the Areas of Natural Constraint (ANC) scheme, Young Farmer Scheme (YFS), Basic Payment, GLAS and Organics. Prior to meeting with your advisor it is important that you check all maps and documents carefully and note any changes that you wish to make on the 2022 application. If there are to be any changes to the farming operation, it is worth having a short chat with the advisor ahead of the appointment, in case you need to prepare anything extra (for example, making a name change to the herd number).

Make a list of items for discussion. This will ensure that both you and the advisor get the most from the consultation. You may also want to discuss other issues such as increased fertilizer costs, farm finances, increases or reductions in stock numbers or plan an investment. If you need to make a further appointment as a result of your discussion, you should do so immediately.

Common errors at Basic Payment Application

  • Not informing the advisor that the ownership of the herd number is / or has changed.
  • Not stating that a lease of entitle­ments was not renewed when it expired in the previous year.
  • Forgetting to reapply for the Young Farmer Scheme (tick box or new appli­cation if no tick box).
  • Forgetting to add on extra land or withdraw a parcel no longer farmed.
  • Not following up with the auctioneer when leasing out entitlements.

CAP 2023

There will be many changes to the Direct Payments farmers receive in 2023.  Some farmers will gain while others with higher value entitlements may see their payments go down.  While the new schemes will not begin before 1st January 2023, farming activities you undertake in 2022 may impact on your payments from 2023.  Examples include the “Active Farmer Check” and some Eco-scheme options.  Your consultation with your advisor for this year’s Basic Payment is also a good time to look ahead to 2023 to assess how these changes might affect your future farm income.

Maximise your Payments

Table 1 demonstrates the importance of direct payments to Irish farming families. The average contribution in 2020 was 70% of the farming income. However, if we look at dry stock en­terprises, it often makes up well over 100% of farm income.

This means that some of the money received in the form of direct pay­ments was subsidising the farm business, demonstrating that the farm enterprise actually made a loss in 2020.

If we look back over a number of years, the picture is no different. These figures make stark reading. It is important that we think about our own future in farming, as there are some significant challenges for the industry ahead.

Even on profitable dairy units, the direct payment makes up a significant proportion of the farm income, so it is important that you maximise the direct payments that are available. If you wish to discuss your finances in detail, please contact your local advisor.

Table 1: Direct payments as a percentage of Family Farm Income*.

Enterprise2020Range (2015 - 2020)
Dairy 28 23 - 38
Cattle rearing 157 109 - 157
Cattle other 113 101 - 129
Sheep 105 143 -105
Tillage 79 55 - 84
National average 70 57 - 77

*Family Farm Income (FFI) is the return from farming for farm family labour, land and capital. It is the principal measure of income used in the Teagasc National Farm Survey (NFS) Figures provided by NFS.

Farm succession

It is important that every farmer has thought about farm succession. The first step is to write a Will. This is an insurance policy against a lengthy legal rigmarole for your family should you pass on intes­tate (i.e. dying without having made a Will). Have a conversation with your advi­sor about farm succession. Succes­sion is a complex area with lots to be considered, mostly around tax and government supports. There are some good supports for young farmers in the YFS and National Reserve (NR). Farm succession is something which needs to be planned well in advance of any final decisions and involves plenty of discussion with all family members.

Deadline Date

The deadline for all schemes (BPS, NR and YFS) is Monday 16 May 2021. As has occurred in other years, amend­ments can be made after submission of the application up until the end of May.