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.


27.4.2022 – Western Morning News – Agricultural Grants – The Latest Developments

The steady drip feed of information about the post-BPS world continues. Here are some of the latest developments. Sustainable Farming Incentive (SFI)  New guidance, stemming in part from the pilot, has been issued on how the general scheme to be released later this year will work. This guidance contains few surprises, but there are some…

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25.4.22 – Farmers Weekly – Brokers short of English non-SDA BPS entitlements

Demand is outstripping supply for English Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) entitlements, with non-severely disadvantaged area (non-SDA) entitlements consistently selling for about £200/unit. There are now just three full weeks left before the entitlement trading window closes in England on 16 May and demand is strong. Hugh Townsend, of Townsend Chartered Surveyors, said prices were changing…

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14.4.22 – Farmers Weekly – Farmers need answers before deciding on Lump Sum Scheme

The Lump Sum Exit Scheme is open for applications, but advisers warn that key questions need to be answered by the Rural Payments Agency (RPA) before the closure of the 2022 entitlement trading window on 16 May. Application forms for the scheme, designed to allow farmers to leave the industry in a managed way with…

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13.4.22 – Western Morning News – The Final Death Knell of the Headage Payments in the New Forest

You might recall that in October last year, some activists climbed up the side of a building to protest against subsidised meat production, back when current affairs still allowed our media the space to cover such things. Clearly these people had not actually been paying a great deal of attention to historic agricultural policy, because…

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6.4.22 – Western Morning News – Retirement Lump Sum – Fine Detail

As the dust settles on the RPA’s announcement on the specifics of the Lump Sum Exit Scheme, and with the regulations underpinning it now released this week, we have noted a few matters of specific detail that may become critical in how these schemes are handled: Entitlements and the Retirement Lump Sum cap   This is one…

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23.3.22 – Western Morning News – BPS 2022: Townsend Top Tips

“That time of year” has arrived once again. Most readers will only have one BPS claim to submit for the year, if any. We, by our nature, have rather more than that. For some weeks we hear the DEFRA hold music in our sleep and dream about RLE1 forms. Whatever the long-term psychological effects of…

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16.3.22 – Western Morning News – Faultless land ‘mapping’ is key

The BPS is a payment for either actively farming land or maintaining it in a condition suitable for farming. The payment is calculated based on the number of hectares of land on which the claim is made. The process for claiming is as below: Step 1: Register with the Rural Payments Agency (RPA)  The Rural…

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15.3.2022 – Farmers Weekly – BPS entitlement values higher than in 2021

Brokers are reporting prices for non-severely disadvantaged area (SDA) basic payment entitlements are currently ranging from £150 to £200/unit. Hugh Townsend, of Townsend Chartered Surveyors, said prices were higher than at the same point in 2021, with deals for non-SDA entitlements in England being struck at £160 to £200/unit plus VAT, depending on lot size……

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9.3.2022 – Western Morning News – Countryside Stewardship Window Open – Why would you not claim?

As in previous years, Countryside Stewardship (CS) offers a selection of payments to landowners or tenants for carrying out actions viewed as environmentally beneficial. This includes ongoing annual payments for “options”, such as maintaining wildflower margins or taking areas out of production, and for one-time “capital items” such as hedge laying and new covers for…

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17.2.22 – Farmers Weekly – Lump sum and delinking raise tax and timing questions

The tax and timing considerations for the Lump Sum Exit scheme and Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) delinking announcements need careful consideration and more information is needed from Defra, say advisers. Comments from Hugh Townsend see article here

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