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R&D tax credits for the agricultural sector & farmers

The art of agriculture has been handed down through the ages but this sector now benefiting from refinement through technology. R&D tax claims can come from process improvements, production improvement and scalability and quality control.




million in claim value


Average claim value

Source HMRC R&D tax credits statistics 2023

The statistics published by HMRC for 2021-22 are provisional and have been uplifted to include estimates for claims not yet received.

What qualifies as R&D in the agriculture sector?

When a good grower or farmer wants to understand their crops or livestock yield we can see innovation. Whether it’s improving their crop yield, or finding ways to save money on site. For example the process of tracking pests and testing different pest control processes, the development of effective fertilisers or adapting and trialling new atmospheric conditions.

Qualifying expenditure is apparent in the development of new machinery and components or the adoption of existing components in a new or non-obvious way. Many agricultural businesses are building new processes to reduce waste or reuse waste products in novel ways, e.g. biofuels.

This sector includes the following types of business.

  • Growing of crops
  • Animal production
  • Mixed farming
  • Support activities to agriculture and post-harvest crop activities
  • Fishing
  • Forestry and Logging

Yes, agricultural businesses can claim under either scheme depending on their size and other deciding factors.  Of the R&D tax relief claims made in 2021-22 so far, 90% of them were under the SME scheme equating to 71% of the value claimed.

Yes, agricultural businesses that have already claimed R&D tax credits might find that they could claim even more by applying for the Patent Box scheme. In 2021-22, so far, only 20 companies elected into the Patent Box, claiming £2 million in benefit.

Agriculture, forestry and fishing sector businesses


Agriculture, forestry & fishing case studies

R&L Holt

Industry: Horticulture
  • R&L Holt are proud to have used their experience from the last 40 years to keep innovating and improving their operations.
  • They have been claiming R&D tax credits for many years, but now working with Source Advisors, they have recognised even more of their activity as innovation.

Read full R&L Holt case study

R&D case study R&L Holt logo

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