The application window for the Lump Sum Exit Scheme has opened today (Tuesday, April 12).

It will remain open for just over five months until September 30, 2022.

The scheme, which is in its infancy, is for farmers who wish to leave the industry and exit the sector in a managed way.

Government will provide exit payments to eligible applicants based on the average direct payments made to the farmer for the 2019-2021 Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) years.

This reference figure will be capped at £42,500 and multiplied by 2.35 to calculate the lump sum, meaning that farmers could receive up to around £100,000.

In return, farmers will be expected to either rent or sell their land or surrender their tenancy in order to create opportunities for new entrants and farmers wishing to expand their businesses.

Commenting, Environment Secretary George Eustice said:

“The decision to retire or exit the industry can be extremely difficult and is frequently postponed.

“The purpose of the Lump Sum Exit Scheme is to assist farmers who want to exit the industry to do so in a planned way that provides them with the means to make a meaningful choice about their future.

“The scheme will also free up land for new entrants to farming, and we will be saying more about our new entrants scheme shortly.”

Applications can be found on the website.