All new and previously unsuccessful applicants must hold an acceptable Level II qualification and comply with the relevant head of holding (young farmer) or control of business (new entrant) requirements – collectively known as the Head of Holding (HoH) requirements.
The schemes are aimed at providing support to those commencing their agricultural activity. In the case of the YFP, successful young farmer applicants could receive a top-up on their basic payment on up to 90 hectares of eligible land. In 2017 this was approximately €55.77 per hectare.
A positive change to EU Regulations in 2018 means that successful applicants for the YFP will now receive the payment for five years following their first successful application to the scheme. For example, a young farmer who has been head of holding for four years when submitting a successful first time application for YFP will now receive the payment for the subsequent five years compared to only one year under previous rules.
The requirement remains, however, that to be eligible for the YFP, a successful first time application has to be submitted within five years of the young farmer becoming head of holding.
Eligibility and supporting evidence
Details of the eligibility and supporting evidence requirements are set out in the 2018 Guide to the Young Farmers’ Payment / Regional Reserve
The eligibility and evidence requirements for those applying for the YFP and / or RR as a young farmer are very similar and you must be no more than 40 years of age in your first year of application. Applicants to the RR, as new entrants, can be over 40 years of age in their first year of application and would need to comply with different eligibility and evidence requirements.
The schemes are open to those who run their business as a sole trader, partnership / multi-member business or as a company.
How to apply
Previously successful YFP applicants applying for their 2018 payment, must apply using the online Single Application no later than 15 May 2018.
All new and previously unsuccessful applicants, young farmers and new entrants, should present a fully completed 2018 Young Farmers’ Payment / Regional Reserve Form with supporting evidence at a DAERA Direct Office not later than 15 May 2018 and must also apply using the online Single Application by this deadline.
Further help is available by contacting the SAF Advisory Service on 0300 200 7848 or via email
DAERA is urging all farmers who have not yet taken any action, particularly those who have to submit additional information, to act now. This is one of the most important things that farmers will do this year so they are urged not to take any risks and make their applications well before the deadline of midnight 15 May 2018.