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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Why a climate-positive farm shows value of natural capital

The 1,000ha Cholderton Estate has achieved climate-positive status by capturing more greenhouse gases than it emits, while showing that it is possible to run a profitable farming business in countryside…


Worcs farmer taps into grants to revamp machinery fleet

Investing in new technology can be cripplingly expensive for a small farm, but securing funds from relevant grant schemes makes it possible to lighten the financial burden. James Kent and…


Net-zero demo farm's three-pronged approach to cutting carbon

A Cambridgeshire net zero demonstration farmer has a three-pronged approach to cut his carbon footprint and replace income lost through the phasing out of BPS payments. David Felce, who farms…


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…

Practical advice

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Business Clinic: Should we take up SFI on mixed family farm?

Whether it’s a legal, tax, insurance, management or land issue, Farmers Weekly’s experts can help. James Bradley of Carter Jonas Rural sets out how the SFI and other sources of…


Farming Investment Fund grants – what's on offer?

The Rural Payments Agency (RPA) has set aside £27m to help farmers in England improve efficiency and deliver environmental benefits. That sum will have to fund individual projects of up…


4 environmental options for arable growers in switch to ELMs

Arable growers are being encouraged to try out current stewardship options to ready themselves for the switch from direct subsidies to environmentally focus payments. With direct support from the Basic…


Farm resilience fund - where and how to access free advice

Farm businesses can now access free consultancy advice to help them navigate the loss of the Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) and the move to the Environmental Land Management scheme. Defra’s…


Advice for navigating changes in farm support

The phase-out of the Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) is set to have a huge impact on farm incomes across England. After the first cuts this year, farm businesses face the…


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…

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 conservation covenants fit in with new support schemes

Conservation covenants are a new tool designed to help with the government’s core commitment to enhance the natural environment for future generations. They will be voluntary, but legally binding, agreements…


Who will benefit from Countryside Stewardship rate rise?

Payment rate increases for Countryside Stewardship (CS) may make the scheme a more attractive and viable option for farmers in England looking to offset basic payments cuts, say land agents.…


Landscape and Local Nature Recovery: What farms need to know

Defra secretary George Eustice is set to unveil plans at the Oxford Farming Conference (OFC) for two new Environmental Land Management (ELM) schemes which will pay farmers in England to…


Farm business outlook 2022: Farm policy

As farm support policy between the devolved nations diverges further, imbalances in competitiveness may develop. An important policy driver is the UK government’s aim to reach net zero emissions by…


Sustainable Farming Incentive 2022: What farmers need to know

Soil health and regenerative farming techniques will be the key focus of the government’s new Sustainable Farming Incentive (SFI) scheme, which opens for applications from farmers in England next year.…


Why arable farmers could soon earn from habitat credits

Farmers could soon earn money creating new habitats on their farms, as developers look to offset the loss of biodiversity resulting from development such as house building and infrastructure projects.…


How Local Nature Recovery collaborative schemes could work

Collaboration between farmers, as well as other stakeholders, is likely to be crucial in unlocking funding within the Local Nature Recovery and Landscape Recovery parts of Defra’s Environmental Land Management…


Essex farm bought for £2m to showcase rewilding

An Essex farm is to showcase how rewilding can generate an income for landowners, while enhancing biodiversity and the environment. Landscape company Ground Control bought Grays Farm, in the village…


What’s the market like for farms with natural capital?

Natural capital has moved to the forefront of farmers’ minds in recent years, with new support schemes and grants focusing on environmental objectives. Interest in a limited supply of properties…


Silvopasture: What it is and how it benefits livestock

Tree planting can make a valuable contribution to a range of public goods, such as carbon sequestration, improved soil health, increased biodiversity, water quality and flood mitigation, all of which…


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…