The Young Farmer top-up payment is different in all the UK regions. This year England has changed the criteria for applying for the Young Farmer payment, details of this change and whether this change has been applied in the regions is given below:


In England the ‘Young Farmer’ payment is a top-up of 25% of the average value of all entitlements that are held by an applicant and is applied to the first 90 entitlements that they use.

  • To be eligible to claim the Young Farmer payment applicants must be at least 18 years old but not more than 40 in the year they first apply for the Young Farmer payment.
  • They must be in control of the farming business in that they have over a 50% sharing vote (two young farmers can combine their votes to prove control of a business if their votes combined equal over 50%) or be a sole trader.
  • The applicant must have made their first BPS application within five years of taking control of the business.

There has been a change to the Young Farmer Payment rule for 2018 in England in that the payment can now be claimed for a maximum of five years from the first year a successful Basic Payment application is made, unlike in previous years in which the payment could only be received for five years from the year that the applicant took control of the farming business.

Effectively this extends for some this extra payment, but this change does not allow any applications for backdated payments prior to 2018.

Examples from the 2018 RPA BPS handbook

A farmer’s date of birth is 6 April 1975. He makes his first BPS application in 2015. At the time of that application he is 40 years old. Providing he meets the other criteria, he will be classed as a ‘Young Farmer’ up to and including 2020.

A young farmer set up or took control of their business in 2011 and made their first BPS and Young Farmer payment applications in 2015. They were previously only able to claim the Young Farmer payment in 2015 and 2016 and were not eligible to claim in 2017 as this was more than 5 years from the year they took control of their business. Under the new rules that apply from 2018, this farmer is now eligible to claim the Young Farmer payment again in 2018 and 2019 i.e. 5 years from their first Young Farmer payment application in 2015. They would still not receive the payment for 2017. See here for more detailed information.


In Wales the Young Farmer applicant can claim the 25% top up on the first 25 hectares on the holding for 5 years from their first Young Farmer claim rather than the year they became head of the holding.

See here for more information.


A Young Farmer in Scotland can still only receive a Young Farmer top-up payment for 5 years from the date the business was first established. See here for more information.

Northern Ireland

In Northern Ireland also, a Young Farmer application can only be made for 5 years from the date a business was set up or the Young Farmer became head of the holding. See here for more information.