Ireland’s Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) strategic plan officially started on the January 1, 2023, and with the implementation of that plan, there are significant changes for farmers happening this year regarding payment entitlements.

The first thing for farmers to note is that unlike the last CAP, there is no new allocation of payment entitlements this time around. This means that if a farmer owned 29 entitlements in 2022, they still own 29 entitlements in 2023.

Where a farmer has entitlements rented/leased in or out these entitlements will remain with that farmer unless the lease has ended.

Value of payment entitlements

However, it is important to note that the value of all payment entitlements will change in 2023. This is happening because Ireland’s allocation of CAP direct payments is being divided in a new way among schemes.

The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine online calculator allows farmers to get an estimate of the value of their payment from 2023 onwards.

This step-change in the value of payment entitlements is particularly important where entitlements are rented/leased as part of land rental and should be borne in mind by both parties.

Convergence of payment entitlement values will continue in the years 2023-2026.

In 2026, lower than average value payment entitlements will have reached a minimum of 85% of the average value. In turn, higher value entitlements will see a decrease to enable the increase in lower valued entitlements.

Transferring entitlements

Transfers of entitlements between farmers will be available in a very similar way to previous years.

Farmers can transfer between themselves using the online facility in Agfood, or they can use an advisor if they so wish.

Farmers who are thinking about selling entitlements should note that the clawback of 20% on entitlements sold without land has been removed for 2023 and 2024 – reflecting much discussion and feedback between farmers and the Department in the preparation of the CAP strategic plan.

In 2023, the closing date for transfers of entitlements will be May 29, and farmers are encouraged to engage early with advisors and the Department to ensure their applications are completed in time.