Share Farming

The current state of the farming industry in England is of increasing concern for many farmers. With the government not providing guidance on the new schemes being brought in to replace BPS (Basic Payment Scheme), the next few years look to be uncertain at the least. We understand that this has caused some concern for many over the future of their farms and ultimately their livelihood.

One potential solution for many may be share farming. This is an arrangement where two parties agree to work together to farm an area of land. They remain as two separate businesses but are working together for mutual benefit, so essentially a joint venture. Earnings generated and costs incurred are divided using a pre-agreed ratio.

Although previously contract farming agreements have been popular and worked well, with BPS coming to an end, these may not be the best option moving forward. In share farming agreements, the margin is shared reflecting the resources and contributions of each party.

Share farming agreements may also be particularly helpful for those who are perhaps looking to take a step back from farming or are even beginning to think of retirement. Share farming can put such people into a good position to benefit from Agricultural Property Relief. Furthermore, those who are new to farming can learn from the landowner and benefit from using their land.

If you would like more advice on putting a Share Farming Agreement in place or on any other joint ventures or partnerships please get in touch with Annabel Attwell or Clare Richards in the Business Services Department or Miles Coates in the Agricultural Department.

Annabel Attwell is a solicitor specialising in corporate law at Barker Gotelee Solicitors in Suffolk.

Business Solicitors – for more information on our range of legal services, please call the team on 01473 611211 or email