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.

12.1.22 – UK Markets 2021 – BPS – BNG – Carbon – Water Abstraction Licenses – Environmental Credits & Emerging Markets

We have now published our UK Markets 2021 report. As BPS is entering its penultimate claim year, and the first claims begin under ELMS (Environmental Land Management Schemes), this report now covers fifteen established and emerging markets. These include BPS Entitlements and also Environmental Credits. For an idea of the additional income possible from Environmental…

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Now that the UK has left the European Union, DEFRA has been able to make modifications to the agricultural subsidy system. So far, this has mostly been through the well-publicised ELMS and Farming Investment Fund, and the reduction of the BPS. Until now, Countryside Stewardship has been relatively unaffected and relatively unmentioned. However, last week…

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As farmers and landowners plan for the wider rollout of the Sustainable Farming Incentive (SFI) this year, the Government have released further details on the two remaining aspects of the Environmental Land Management Scheme (ELMS). Local Nature Recovery Local Nature Recovery (LNR) will eventually replace Countryside Stewardship albeit on a grander scale. Whilst agreements may…

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8.12.21 – Western Morning News – Time to start thinking as SFI payment rates unfold

DEFRA have announced further details of the wider SFI rollout including payment rates and required actions. Whilst there is some commentary that the scheme is not paying enough and others are saying the actions do not go far enough, we are starting to see how the future of sustainable farming will take shape. It is…

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The Environment Act has received Royal Assent in a UK agricultural market uncertain about its financial future. Basic Payment reductions will bite even deeper next year taking 20-40% of the 2020 rate. This combined with the worldwide focus on climate change following COP26 has created a surge of interest in land-based “Natural Capital”. The next couple of years will see the Government facilitate the emerging market in farm environmental services for the “public…

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10.11.21 – Western Morning News – Reasons for optimism as COP26 talks gain ground

One might be forgiven for looking with trepidation at the latest news from Glasgow’s most recent diplomatic circus. What are the implications of that global methane reduction agreement? Will the commitment to ending deforestation affect feed prices? Should I worry about this carbon tax George Eustice mentioned in passing? We are more optimistic. There is scope here for…

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27.10.21 – Western Morning News – Carbon Emissions Markets – Return of Quotas?

We have no doubt that there are all sorts of interesting nuggets of policy communication buried within the Government’s latest Net Zero Strategy document.  Agriculture certainly has its fair share, from making explicit the intention to extend environmental permits to dairy and “intensive” beef farms, to an apparent drive for us all to grow more…

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29.09.21 – Western Morning News – The Future of Farm Policy

Those of you who watched “Clarkson’s Farm” might remember how in the final episode he made just £144 of profit, “before subsidies,”. This is a familiar story. Subsidies are important to farmers across the country. They are also changing quickly. This will dramatically affect how farming is carried out in the South West and beyond….

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8.9.2021 – Western Morning News – Huge potential for soil carbon trading

The introduction of the Environmental Land Management Scheme (ELMs) and its ‘public money for public goods’ mantra, will reward land managers for taking environmentally beneficial actions including sequestering carbon through soil management. This creates an opportunity for the sequestered carbon to be sold on the open market. At present the soil carbon market is not fully developed with a lack of standardisation in the measure-ment of volumes and permanence of carbon sequestered. It can…

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11.8.2021 – Western Morning News – Increasingly attractive SFI option

DEFRA have confirmed that those providing public benefits under an SFI will be able to sell their environmental goods to both government sources and on the open market where companies look to offset their footprint. To this end DEFRA intend to develop and promote private markets for these services. Whilst light on details, it is…

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