Young Farmers’ Payment and/or Regional Reserve - be sure you meet the eligibility and evidence requirements

Date published: 07 March 2017

Applicants to either the Young Farmers’ Payment (YFP) or Regional Reserve (RR) schemes must comply with eligibility and evidence requirements and submit application and evidence on or before 15 May 2017.

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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 – the Head of Holding (HOH) requirements.

The schemes, which have been operating since 2015, are aimed at providing support to those commencing their agricultural activity. In the case of the Young Farmers’ Payment, successful young farmer applicants could receive a top-up on their basic payment on up to 90 hectares of eligible land. In 2016 this was approximately 60.53 euro per hectare. 

Successful applicants to the Regional Reserve, young farmers or new entrants, could receive an allocation of payment entitlements at the regional average value and/or have the value of payment entitlements they already hold increased to the regional average value. In 2016 the regional average value was approximately 226.49 euro per hectare.

Eligibility and Supporting Evidence

Details of the eligibility and supporting evidence requirements are set out in the ’2017 Guide to the Young Farmers’ Payment/Regional Reserve‘ document published on the Departments website. The eligibility and evidence requirements for those applying for the Young Farmers’ Payment and/or to the Regional Reserve 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 Regional Reserve, 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. This year the Department has simplified the requirements for supporting evidence in respect of businesses operated as partnerships/multi-member businesses. As in previous years, all new and previously unsuccessful applicants, young farmers and new entrants, should present a fully completed ‘2017 YFP/RR Form’ with their supporting evidence at a DAERA Direct Office. In addition, those who operate their business as a partnership/multi-member business must ensure that Section 3.4 of the 2017 YFP/RR Form is fully completed by all the appropriate parties. If Section 3.4 is not completed then your application may be rejected.

All applicants, including sole traders, must provide confirmation of their Level II qualification (certificate) along with four main pieces of evidence to demonstrate that they meet the HOH requirements. Evidence required includes:

  • a statement/letter from a qualified independent accountant confirming the applicants involvement in the business (including when this commenced) supported by accounts and taxation information;
  • a letter from the bank/building society confirming that the applicant is named on the business accounts and can make payments and transfer money from these accounts without authorisation from anyone else;
  • confirmation that the applicant is named on the Herd/Flock Number and/or Milk Licence where applicable or if the business has no livestock, applicants must be named on documentation associated with the Quality Assurance Scheme, Plant Health Registration Numbers or other relevant documentation; and
  • applicants must be one of the customer names associated with the DAERA Business ID for which the application is being made.

Applicants will also need to present their birth certificate and/or other relevant identification documents i.e. current passport/driving licence/electoral identity card in their supporting evidence.

Applicants who have recently started their business and do not have previous years’ accounts/tax returns as evidence should provide a statement from a qualified independent accountant confirming that they are appropriately registered for income tax and the date on which the business was registered. A copy of the HMRC income tax registration, showing that they are undertaking agricultural activity, should be provided in support of the statement. Applicants must provide business accounts and tax returns as soon as they are available and no later than 14 months after the business was established. 

Where an applicants’ business did not employ the services of an independent qualified accountant they may not be eligible to apply in 2017. They could, however, seek the services of the required professional to help establish the required documentation to enable application next year, providing they meet the other eligibility and evidence requirements.

How to Apply:

Previously successful Young Farmers’ Payment applicants applying for their 2017 payment must apply on their online Single Application.

In addition, as in previous years, all new and previously unsuccessful applicants, young farmers and new entrants, should present a fully completed ’2017 YFP/RR Form’ with their supporting evidence at a DAERA Direct Office and  must also apply on their Single Application which is available online.

Access Online Single Application.

Further Information and Help:

All applicants should read the guidance on Young Farmers' Payment / Regional Reserve provided on the DAERA website before submitting their application to ensure they and their business can comply with the eligibility and evidence requirements for the schemes at:

If further help is needed applicants can call the SAF Advisory Service on

0300 200 7848 or email:

Notes to editors: 

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  2. All media enquiries to DAERA Press Office or tel: 028 9052 4619.

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