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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How and why two farmers planted trees for crops and poultry

Agroforestry is estimated to be practised on 3% of the UK’s farmed land, but at 10% the Woodland Trust says it could help the nation hit climate change targets. In…


How the Monitor farms plan to restructure to fill BPS gap

Making significant savings and finding other income streams are the two top priorities for the four East Midlands Monitor Farms, as they plan for the post-Brexit future. The loss of…


How farmers are capitalising on Countryside Stewardship

Organic beef and sheep farmer David Oates has stopped growing barley in favour of brassica crops and wholecrop to benefit local wildlife habitats. With a mixture of improved land, heathland…


How young farmers grew their businesses with Plumb support

The Henry Plumb Foundation has been helping young farmers to further their farming businesses for the past seven years.  Founded by Lord Henry Plumb, the foundation provides financial backing and…


How small-scale crofters in the Hebrides survive challenges

The importance of taxpayer support in keeping farm businesses afloat is well understood. Latest annual farm income figures for the UK show that, out of total net earnings of £4.6bn,…


How land drainage project is benefiting grazing and wildlife

A £2m project benefiting farmers and the environment is being heralded as a blueprint for similar land management schemes after the UK leaves the European Union. Bringing together conservationists, landowners…

Practical advice

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Q&A: How funding for woods and hedges works

Man-made pressures and disease are putting a strain on woodlands and hedgerows, with consequences for wildlife populations and the farmed environment. Farmland accounts for 72% of the UK countryside, so…


Is there still a future in AD plants for UK farmers?

Despite challenges due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the UK anaerobic digester (AD) sector grew by 11% in the year to April 2021, according to National Non-Food Crops Centre (NNFCC) figures.…


Tips for smooth Basic Payment Scheme 2021 applications

With only two months to apply for the Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) 2021 in England, now’s the time to get prepared and submit applications. Alice De Soer from consultancy Rural…


Countryside Stewardship 2021: What farmers need to know

Farmers in England can take advantage of an improved Countryside Stewardship (CS) offer this year. Applications opened on Tuesday (9 February) for Higher Tier, Mid Tier (including wildlife offers), new…


Everything farmers need for 2021 cross-compliance inspection

Defra has issued a list of all the records that a Rural Payments Agency inspector will want to see if a farm is picked for a cross-compliance inspection. The idea…


How to avoid pitfalls in Countryside Stewardship applications

Attention to detail and thorough background reading will reduce errors and oversights on Countryside Stewardship (CS) scheme applications. Common pitfalls can cause payment delays or even rejections, particularly where capital…

BPS calculator

BPS online calculator

Direct Payments in England will be phased out from 2021 to 2027 and details of the percentage reductions have now been released by Defra. Download this calculator, provided by Albert Goodman, to see how this affects you.


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How the new Arable Soils Standard could help fill the BPS gap

Early indications based on figures announced by Defra in early July suggest that while the new Sustainable Farming Incentive (SFI) could fill the BPS shortfall for some farmers, large farms…


New assurance rules on crops for biofuel from 1 July

Arable farmers need to comply with new rules on growing crops for the biofuel market. From 1 July 2021, production standards set out in the EU Renewable Energy Directive (Red)…


Will Defra's lump-sum exit scheme appeal to farmers?

Faced with the greatest farm policy shake-up in 50 years, farmers have been frustrated in recent times by the lack of detail about what is to replace the CAP –…


Outlook 2021: Farm policy and funding

Farm support will dominate the agenda in 2021, with payments linked to environmental improvements. Two government policies in particular will shape the future for farming – the Environment Bill and…


Tips on how to fill the BPS cash gap on your farm

On most farms, there are opportunities to make up for some of the coming Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) cuts, even if none is obvious at first, say advisers.    Changing…


How Defra’s trials for developing ELM schemes are working

Exmoor National Park Authority and the Exmoor Hill Farming Network have jointly taken part in one of Defra’s national test and trials for the Environmental Land Management (ELM) scheme. Following…


ELM Q&A: Farmers question Defra on the detail of the scheme

Defra may have closed its latest consultation on the planned Environmental Land Management scheme, but farmers still have plenty of questions. Farmers Weekly tuned into a recent Q&A session with…


Free app to help growers with cropping for ELM scheme

Farmers are to get the first glimpse this summer of a new online tool which will help them decide cropping plans for a new “public money for public good” agricultural…


Miscanthus: Can it tackle climate change and turn a profit?

Growing miscanthus can make sense on poorer-quality land, offering farmers a financial return and a chance to do their bit for the environment. But the government is being urged by…