Hugh Townsend has for over 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 individuals 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.


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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6.7.2021 – SUSTAINABLE FARMING INCENTIVE 2022 – UPDATE

SFI 2022 open to those in existing Countryside Stewardship. Environmental goods produced under an SFI can be sold in the open market. 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…

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1.7.2021 SUSTAINABLE FARMING INCENTIVE: 2022 EARLY ROLLOUT

Available Spring 2022. Open to all farmers eligible for BPS. Two standards to choose from: Arable and Horticultural Soils Standard and Improved Grassland Soils Standard (payments of between £26 and £70 per hectare (estimated) and Moorland and Rough Grazing Standard (Payment rate to be confirmed). Annual Health and Welfare Review. Funds a yearly vet visit (£269-£775). More…

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2.6.2021 – Western Morning News – Now’s the time to plant trees as Government boosts incentives

The Forestry Commission have recently announced a range of new grants aimed at encouraging Woodland Creation. English Woodland Creation Offer (EWCO) This scheme is set to replace the Woodland Carbon Fund (WCF), which was closed to new applicants on the 31st March this year. Both schemes fund the capital cost of planting new woodlands, plus…

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30.6.2021 – THE SUSTAINABLE FARMING INCENTIVE

The Environmental Land Management (ELM) scheme, long-awaited successor to the Basic Payment Scheme will at first take the form of three new schemes. These are the Sustainable Farming Incentive (SFI), Local Nature Recovery and Landscape Recovery. Of these, the SFI is intended to be the most applicable to the majority of farmers. The Sustainable Farming…

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26.5.2021 – Western Morning News – Devil in the detail as plans for retirement payments unveiled

On the 19th May the Government gave more detail of what we have been calling the “exit support scheme”. This will provide a lump sum payment to farmers meeting a set of criteria which the Government considers to constitute retirement from farming. Details of “delinked” payments after 2024 have also been given. This information is…

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25.05.2021 – DELINKAGE, BPS RETIREMENT LUMP SUM AND NEW & YOUNG FARMERS

On the 19th May the Government gave more detail of what we have been calling the “exit support scheme”. This will provide a lump sum payment to farmers meeting a set of criteria which the Government considers to constitute retirement from farming. Details of “delinked” payments after 2024 have also been given. This information is…

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19.05.2021 – GOVERNMENT BOOSTS SUPPORT FOR WOODLAND PLANTING AND CARBON TRADING

The Forestry Commission have recently announced a range of new grants aimed at encouraging Woodland Creation. English Woodland Creation Offer (EWCO) This scheme is set to replace the Woodland Carbon Fund (WCF), which was closed to new applicants on the 31st March this year. Both schemes fund the capital cost of planting new woodlands, plus…

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