Re: Maps, what maps?
All this started 1991-92 when EU subsidy for food production switched from the produce to the land. At least it stopped the Food Mountains. The particular problem that we had in the UK was that, with farm land not taxed, there was no easily-usable central record of owners and occupiers of land. The Ordnance Survey had maps showing field sizes, but they were not always current. The Land Registry isn't complete for England. And the payment went to the occupier.
Add to that the way that MAFF ignored its advisers and required an insane level of precision in the measurement of field sizes. In a typical British arable field, the permitted error in measuring the cultivated area worked out as less than a foot, while the OS area was apparently based on the assumption of Euclidean geometry. If part of a field was setaside land, you couldn't use the OS area, and woe betide you if your measurement of the total area was larger than the claim of the year before.
At least it was a paper-based system then. And MAFF had local offices. many of which have now vanished.
Eventually, MAFF became DEFRA. The last time I went to the county agricultural show. the prime locations were occupied by supermarket chains instead of grain merchants. There were more horses than cows on the site. I remember some company that installed computer networks in offices, while a long-established machinery dealer, who my grandfather had dealt with, had gone bust over the winter.
We already had robots milking cows. We have GPS on the combine harvesters, plotting the grain yelds across the fields, and showing the places where fertiliser would be wasted.
There's a history of farmers using the high-tech tools, and overcoming the problems of computers trying to exchange information. Nitrate pollution? If it gets into the water, it's money wasted.
Those are the people who struggle with the systems the government pays for. Don't believe the image of country folk you see on TV. The incompetents are working for the government (and offering to help you).