The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) has published detailed plans for its lump-sum exit scheme to encourage elderly farmers to retire and release their land to others.

Applicants will generally have to sell, rent or gift all but five hectares of their agricultural land, or surrender their tenancy by May 2024. 

The lump sum will be calculated based on the per-acre payments made to the farmer between 2019 and 2021, up to a maximum of £100,000. 

The scheme opens in April 2022 to partners or shareholders with at least a 50 per cent interest in a farming business. Parents with a combined 50 per cent interest in the business can take the lump sum and leave their child to continue to farm.

For more information and advice on how these changes may affect you, get in touch with me here.