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.


31.03.2021 – Western Morning News – Increasing interest in CS scheme as BPS subsides

The UK’s departure from the EU has led to a variety of changes to the Countryside Stewardship (CS) scheme. This has brought both limitations and new opportunities, which are important to new applicants and existing agreement holders alike. New Capital Items As part of a drive to improve air quality, two new capital items have been added to the Scheme as…

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26.03.2021 – Farm Facts 2021

Our 12th edition of Farm Facts is out now – a handy pocket reference for farmers, solicitors, accountants, farm agents and all types of agricultural adviser. “I’ve been in receipt of Farm Facts for a number of years now and find it excellent.” “Its amazing what you have packed into such a useful guide.” “I…

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24-03-2021 – Western Morning News – New and Young Farmer Entitlements – The Time Could Be Now

The RPA have recently confirmed that they are consulting on whether this will be the final year for national reserve entitlement allocations. This may then be many farmers’ last chance to gain an asset of some value for relatively little expense. When a farmer or landowner meets certain criteria, they can claim free BPS entitlements from the…

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23.03.2021 – Farmers Weekly – Entitlement values firm in first year of BPS reduction

Brokers are starting to see more activity in the market for Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) entitlements, with prices marginally higher than at the same point last year, despite 2021 being the first year reductions will take effect. Read more

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17.03.2021 – Western Morning News – Incentive offers options for level of commitment

Details of the pilot of the Sustainable Farming Incentive (SFI) – the next step in the Government’s landmark plans to reward farmers and land managers for sustainable farming practices – were published last week. The Sustainable Farming Incentive (SFI) has now opened for expressions of interest, which must be made by the 11th April, to…

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15.03.2021 – ENGLISH ELM – SUSTAINABLE FARMING INCENTIVE – PILOT SCHEME TIER 1 – DEADLINE 11TH APRIL 2021

The Sustainable Farming Incentive (SFI) has now opened for expressions of interest, which must be made by the 11th April, to start an agreement in 2022. The payments will be on top of the BPS payment. The SFI is tier one of the Environmental Land Management (ELM) scheme. We now know that the SFI combines…

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17.02.2021 – Western Morning News – BPS Claims 2021 – Lessons Learnt

The English BPS claim window is to open on the 18th March.  So now is a good time to remember just a few of the Scheme’s intricacies, both from its inception and from more recent changes. Commons usage It is well known that anyone with pannage or pasturage rights over any of the nation’s commons,…

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03.02.2021 – Western Morning News – RPA Update the Future of Farming: BPS, Countryside Stewardship and ELMS

The passing of the Agriculture Act 2020 anticipates a formal move from the BPS area payment to the ‘public money for public goods’ of the Environmental Land Management Scheme.  The Act allows funding for practices aimed at improving biodiversity, air and water quality and soil health. The Rural Payments Agency have since released details of…

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5.1.2021 – Farmers Weekly – Carbon credits explained – Long term income option for farmers

Farmers looking to combine environmental benefits with a guaranteed long-term income stream should consider carbon credits. By planting trees, restoring peatland or adapting soil management plans, landowners can help both remove and reduce the amounts of carbon dioxide being released into the atmosphere. Buyers – generally either the government or large companies looking to offset…

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16.12.2020 – Welsh Agriculture Bill – White Paper – BPS payment in full 2021 & 2022

On Wednesday 16th December the Welsh Government announced a white paper for the Agriculture (Wales) Bill. The Bill is expected to be published in 2022 with the legislative framework coming into effect from 2023. This Bill will govern future support for Welsh agriculture, provide regulatory reform, encourage forestry and woodland creation and improve animal health…

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