Know How / Payments, schemes and grants

Support payments are a vital income stream for almost every farm business – whether they are delivered through the Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) or one of a range of agri-environment schemes.

This page offers the latest news on the main schemes operating across each of the devolved regions and also highlights other opportunities for farmers to access grant funds.

Key areas of focus:

  • Basic Payment Scheme developments
  • Agri-environment grant schemes
  • Grants to support equipment purchases
  • Rural development grant funding
  • Bursaries and scholarships

Case studies

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Video: Exmoor group tackles farm support and rural isolation

The unique and thriving farmer-led Exmoor Hill Farming Network has grown to support 300 local farming businesses since it began four years ago under the guidance of chairman Dave Knight…


Video: How Gloucs farmers are working to prevent flooding

Farmers and landowners in Gloucestershire’s Upper Thames area are working together to manage the land to provide catchment-scale solutions to prevent future floods while making businesses resilient.  When storms Eva…


5 successful Leader grant projects to inspire farmers

Many farmers want to improve the resilience of their business by innovating or diversifying – but the level of investment required can be daunting. Farmers Weekly talked to five farmers…


Scheme shows the benefits of grazing cattle in the uplands

A new Higher Level Stewardship (HLS) scheme could change the way stock is grazed on upland areas, with farmers raving of the benefits of re-introducing cattle to upland commons. The…


Prince's Dairy Initiative helps Yorkshire farm business

Joining the Prince’s Dairy Initiative (PDI) has provided some useful insights into the management and performance of a small Holstein Friesian herd on a rented farm in North Yorkshire. The…


Hampshire farmer opts out of HLS scheme to make more money

Higher Level Stewardship is a guaranteed income, but it can restrict performance. Gemma Claxton reports on one sheep farmer who plans to leave the scheme. Getting out of the Higher…

Practical advice

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Business Clinic: Should I convert to organic production?

Whether it’s a legal, tax, insurance, management or land issue, Farmers Weekly’s experts can help. Here, Tom Cackett, food and farming consultant at Savills, advises on future subsidy rates. Q I…


Business Clinic: What we know already about 2019 BPS rates

Whether you have a legal, tax, insurance, management or land issue, Farmers Weekly’s Business Clinic experts can help. Here, Ashley Lilley, director of food and farming at Savills, advises on future…


Business Clinic: Is there any grant aid for planting trees?

Whether you have a legal, tax, insurance, management or land issue, Farmers Weekly’s Business Clinic experts can help. Here, Oliver Thompson, forestry consultant at Savills, advises on planting grants. Q: I…


Tips on applying for Mid-Tier Countryside Stewardship

With only three weeks until the Countryside Stewardship Mid-Tier 2018 application deadline, Alice De Soer from the Central Association of Agricultural Valuers (CAAV) gives some key pointers for applicants. The…


Key cross-compliance and greening dates by region

The list of cross-compliance and greening rules farmers need to follow is long and life is made even more complicated by the fact each of the devolved regions has slightly…


Essential tips for BPS 2018 claims

With just over three weeks until the 15 May deadline for BPS 2018 claims, Alice De Soer from the Central Association of Agricultural Valuers (CAAV) gives some essential tips on…


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Outlook 2019: Farm policy and support payments

The UK and the EU’s March 2019 Brexit transition deal or “implementation period” will last until the end of 2020 if we exit with a deal. During this time the…


Exclusive: Source reveals Defra farm payments fiasco

Farmers Weekly has been contacted about the frustration of processing Environmental Stewardship (ES) claims following a massive Rural Payments Agency (RPA) remapping exercise, which led to serious delays to farmers…


Gove's plans for farm support revolution examined

Farmers will have until 2024 to adjust to a new system of agricultural support after the UK leaves the European Union under plans outlined by Defra secretary Michael Gove. Speaking…


Are Gove’s environmental ambitions practical for farmers?

Farmers may feel the last thing they need is another piece of jargon. However, the phrase “natural capital” has very much arrived in Westminster and, with Defra secretary Michael Gove’s…


Handy guide to key cross-compliance dates 2018

Defra has released a calendar of key dates in 2018 to help farmers in England avoid making cross-compliance breaches. Cross-compliance rules apply to all basic payment scheme claimants and are…


How an arable farmer benefited from planting apple trees

Planting trees can offer a range of benefits for farmers from protecting soils and crops, to improving livestock productivity and reducing flooding. Some farmers, however, are put off by the…


Pilot agri-environment scheme could mean less red tape

A new style of agri-environment scheme which promises producers less red tape and greater control over how they manage their land is being trialled by farmers in North Yorkshire, Norfolk…


Analysis: Should large farmers still get subsidies?

As momentum builds towards developing a new agricultural policy for the post-Brexit era, environmental  lobby group Greenpeace has launched a savage attack on farm subsidies. But do their claims stack…


The future of producer organisations post EU vote

The chancellor Phillip Hammond’s announcement last week that the government would guarantee agricultural funding until 2020 still leaves many questions unanswered for producer organisations (POs) and their members. UK POs…


Agriculture subsidy prospects in and out of the EU

Whether the UK votes to stay in or leave the EU, support for farming is likely to fall overall as the union and national governments wrestle with the challenges presented…


A guide to grants for dairy and livestock farmers

The Basic Payment Scheme may be the part of CAP reform that grabs all the headlines, but the implantation of new rural development schemes across the UK will also provide…