The point has been made repeatedly about opportunistic price raising by the supply industry when grant schemes fund a particular input, be it a slurry store, direct drill or a soil test.
Could DEFRA consider a system of direct funding soil testing to avoid this? Farms would request soil tests which would then be undertaken and paid for directly by DEFRA without the money actually going to the farm first. In this way DEFRA could issue a competitive tender contract for the work as a block to ensure best value and consistent methodology.
The soil tests get done, the farmers get the results (as do DEFRA) and cost inflation is discouraged.
That would seem a sensible way to go about it.
However, they might find details that don't fit with stakeholders' agendas. Just imagine, for example, if they discovered that @Henarar 's long term permanent pasture fields had higher soil OM levels than that continuous arable land managed by their direct drilling evangelists?