New guidance for The Sustainable Farming Incentive
DEFRA yesterday announced further details surrounding the rollout of SFI in 2023. An SFI agreement lasts for 3 years from its start date. It can be ‘upgraded’ annually to add more actions and eligible land.
What’s on offer?
- The Sustainable Farming Incentive (SFI) 2023 offer has 23 new actions, for both the existing standards for soil health and moorland.
- These include 6 new standards on hedgerows, integrated pest management, nutrient management, farmland wildlife, buffer strips and low input grassland.
How will the SFI management payment work?
Your SFI agreement’s total annual payment is based on:
- The area of eligible land you enter in area based SFI actions
- The SFI management payment of £20 per hectare per year for up to the first 50 hectares entered into the relevant SFI actions (The maximum SFI management payment will be £1000 per year for each farm business).
- The additional payment for common land of £6.15 per hectare if a group of 2 or more people apply for an SFI agreement on common land.
- The total annual payment is paid in quarterly instalments. The first instalment will usually be made in the fourth month after your agreement starts.
- The farmer needs to be eligible for Basic Payment scheme to apply for SFI
How can 2022 SFI applicants access SFI 2023?
- Defra said previously that farmers who entered SFI 2022 standards agreements would not lose out as they developed the scheme further.
- The SFI 2022 standards do not give the same flexibility as the SFI 2023 offer, and they limit the number of new SFI actions that can be done on the same area of land.
- If you applied for the SFI 2022 standards before they temporarily closed applications on 21 June 2023, and you haven’t already entered into an SFI standards agreement, Defra will offer you an agreement if your application is eligible. You can either accept or reject it.
- DEFRA will write to farmers with existing agreements for the SFI 2022 standards to explain how we’ll meet this commitment and make sure they can fully benefit from the improvements we’ve made to the SFI 2023 offer.
We are here to help decipher these changes and what they mean for farmers so please call our Farm Specialists:
Alan Falshaw or Amanda Boon on 01325 728084.
You can read the full handbook below by following this link:
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