Partnerships offer best hope of getting land to those who are searching for a hands-on role
There is a widely held view that the land rental market has been stagnated by the on-going CAP reforms. Macra studies have confirmed that the uncertainty over CAP is affecting succession decisions.
The simple fact is that not all landowners want to farm their land. At the same time, however, they are reluctant to sell or let the land for fear of losing out on establishing entitlements for EU farm payments.
This fear was heightened when the EU Commission signalled its intent to direct future payments to active farmers. The Commission is proposing that payments should not be granted to applicants who show no real agricultural activity on their land by axing payments where they are less than 5pc of total receipts from all non-agricultural activities.
Brussels bureaucrats will spend the second half of 2013 turning any CAP agreement into regulations which will set the framework for the rules that will apply in each EU member state.
Each state will then be given 12 months to put new systems in place so that the new CAP can begin in 2015. In the meantime, the old system will continue as is.
So landowners holding on to land in speculation on how best to maximise payments under the new system are now facing two problems.
The first is that they will have to wait another 18 months before they will know exactly how the new system will work.
In addition, the 'active farmer' requirement means that they will need to be seen to be farming the land themselves in order to draw down payments under the new system.