Hugh Townsend has for 25 years been the country's "go-to" commentator on farm quotas and rural surveying issues affecting farmers. Having become the country's leading and most innovative quota agent he was broadcast to 3.8 million listeners on Radio 4's PM programme interviewed by Eddie Mayer on the 1st April 2015 – the Dawning of Europe without Milk Quotas, click here.  More recently BBC1 interviewed Hugh Townsend on the future of farming following the Referendum, click here.

Hugh Townsend has over the years developed the most creative arrangements to promote an efficient market in farm quotas, in the early eighties developing leasing milk quota without land before the Milk Marketing Board introduced leasing for a part of the milk year. 

He represented clients in leading legal cases defending transfers of milk quota and developed the new system of second TQ1 forms protecting the transfer of quotas with land. 

In 1991, with Farmers Weekly he produced the first sale price index countrywide and started to publish farm quota sales and leasing graphs which are still published by Farmers Weekly and other publications and can be seen on our Milk Quota & Entitlements pages. 

On BBC television he has defended dairy farmers who have been taken advantage of by unscrupulous inpiduals in the farm quota market and was again on television to comment on the "footballers buy milk quota" rumpus. 

He regularly writes for Farmers Guardian and the South West's Western Morning News and our experienced team is sought after for their comments on farm quotas.


Western Morning News – 01.08.18 – Profitable reasons to get your Countryside Stewardship application in

The Countryside Stewardship (CSS) application period is upon us, and with the deadline having been extended from the 31st July to the 31st August, applicants now have more time to consider which agreement to apply for, and options to select. One of the main factors behind applicants undertaking a CSS application, besides the environmental benefits…

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Western Morning News – 27.06.18 – Countryside Stewardship – Hot Tips

The 31st July 2018 deadline (NB. Deadline now amended to 31st August 2018) for submitting applications is fast approaching, and Countryside Stewardship Mid Tier packs and Wildlife Offer packs are arriving by email and post. A few tips which applicants should watch out for. 6th July Deadline for Hedgerow RLE1s Most applicants will need to…

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Farmers Weekly – 09.07.18 – Why careful investigation is vital before taking on a farm tenancy

Tenants taking on long-term farming tenancies need to take the same detailed and wide-ranging approach one does when buying a farm. A case in which tenant farmers were awarded £1.75m should serve as a warning to both tenants and landlords more widely, writes Hugh Townsend, senior partner of Exeter-based Townsend Chartered Surveyors. Find out what happened in…

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Western Morning News – 25.04.18 – 2018 RPA Online – New Entitlement Transfer Status Complication

The RPA online computer system is transferring entitlements without knowing if they can be used in 2018. The system has to cope with huge amounts of data, and has built within it rules which enable it to process certain transactions automatically, easing up on staff workloads and enabling most transactions to happen (in theory!) quickly…

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Western Morning News – 11.04.18 – Entitlements – Some tricks of the trade

“Internal entitlement transfers” between clients of the same firm of farm consultants/agents Farm consultants and agents are starting to complete their clients’ claims and may wish to trade entitlements between their clients. They adopt different policies as to how to deal with this on behalf of clients, but some will do “internal transfers” between the…

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Farmers Weekly comment – 02.03.18 – BPS entitlement values and Active Farmer test

See article on BPS entitlement values down £30/ha on 2016 – here See article on Active farmer test dropped for 2018 – here

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Western Morning News – 04.04.18 – The ‘Active Farmer’ Rule Changes

REGIONAL UPDATE The 2017 Omnibus Regulations have now taken effect, resulting in significant changes to the ‘Active Farmer’ regulations, and the way Great British and Northern Irish farmers qualify for the Basic Payment Scheme. The Active Farmer requirement of the Basic Payment Scheme is one of the features of the CAP that has caused the…

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Western Morning News – 28.03.18 – English Entitlements – Trading Update

March is traditionally the month where farmers/landowners and their agents start to turn their minds to their BPS claims and to seriously assess what entitlements are needed in order to fully maximise their payment, and trade is beginning to pick up. With the online BPS claim forms now live on the RPA online website, it…

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2018 BPS AND ENTITLEMENT TRADING UPDATE – 15th MARCH 2018

ENGLISH ENTITLEMENTS – TRADING UPDATE March is traditionally the month where farmers/landowners and their agents start to turn their minds to their BPS claims and to seriously assess what entitlements are needed in order to fully maximise their payment, and trade is beginning to pick up. With the online BPS claim forms now live on…

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BPS SCHEME 2018 – ACTIVE FARMER REQUIREMENT DROPPED – 20.2.18

Under the Omnibus Regulation all EU member states have the ability to drop the Active Farmer rule for the Basic Payment Scheme from 2018 onwards. The RPA has today confirmed that England has now dropped the Active Farmer rule for BPS this year. This removes a claimant’s need for the readmission routes or having to…

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