New group facility for share farmers
THERE is a new facility for share farmers to come together to apply as a share farming group for their Basic Payment Scheme application, but it is unlikely that this application will be online before April 1. This will require all farmers in the group coming together and submitting all their grass and tillage land as part of one application. All shared farming agreements must be lodged with the Department.
In addition, all agreements allow each landowner to be involved on both inputs and outputs. For acceptable share farming groups the greening requirements will be applied at group level meaning, that various crops can be grown in blocks. This avoids the necessity to sub-divide blocks to meet the three crop rule. If successful, these groups will be able to avoid sub-dividing blocks to meet the three crop rule.
The eligibility requirements are also applied at group level. Entitlements will be held separately and payments will be calculated and paid separately to each group member.
If there are cross-compliance issues and if these can be traced back to one group member, the penalties will apply to the individual rather than to the group as a whole.