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Share Farming: A Short Guide

Share Farming is new to Irish farmers and works differently to conacre, leasing or partnership arrangements.

The Concept

  • Share farming is where two parties (the landowner and share farmer) carry on separate farming businesses on the same area of land without forming a partnership or company.
  • Both parties share the benefits/risks of farming
  • There is no fixed payment for the land
  • Each party can sell their share of output but must pay for their input costs
  • Share Farming can be fully compliant with EU/ government support schemes including the Single Farm Payments, REPS, etc.
  • The Revenue commissioners are satisfied that land owners participating in a legitimate Share farming agreement continue to be classified as “farmers”
  • Written legal agreement is entered into to ensure that both parties are protected should difficulties arise

Benefits for the land owner

  • Compliance with all schemes and increased control over land allows increased security and rewards from farming
  • Increased buying and selling power due to share farmer
  • Ensures higher returns when yields, weight gain and/or prices increase
  • Agreed proportional stake in sales (animals, grain and/or straw) ensures farm returns
  • Maintain greater control over the land

Benefits for the Share Farmer

  • Tailored agreement allows flexibility to suit different land owners situations
  • No up front payments or other flat rate payments
  • Growing and animal production costs are shared
  • Increased area/scale increases buying and selling power which help to reduce fixed costs
  • Stable land base allows better planning (long and short term)

Operating a Share Farm

  • Trust is essential before entering into an agreement
  • The agreement should be in place before farming commences
  • Discussion of all elements of an agreement is essential before starting
  • The practicalities of share farming should mirror the agreement
  • VAT registered farmers/growers and non VAT registered land owners can successfully operate a Share Farming agreement. See Revenue guidelines.
  • The share farmer can buy sell all produce and then invoice/ pay landowner their share

Setting up A Share Farm agreement

  • Calculating a budget for the crop/enterprise will form the corner stone of the agreement (See Crop Share Calculator screen shots below)
  • See ‘StepstoSettingUpShareFarmingAgreementV5’ flyer (PDF) for more information
  • Further information is also available on www.teagasc.ie

Budget calculator for crops (Screenshots)