The Sustainable Farming Incentive (SFI) is the long-awaited scheme that will deliver on the Governments ‘Public Money or Public Good’ slogan. The new scheme will reward farmers for adopting more sustainable farming approaches. It aims to support all forms of farming, from new entrants, to land and farms already in Countryside Stewardship schemes.
The scheme will create large scale impacts and benefits on a regional and national level to;
- The climate
- The environment
- Animal health and welfare
The scheme is set to open in an ‘early rollout’ version in 2022 and will apply to all farmers who are currently claiming the Basic Payment Scheme. At the early stage the SFI will offer the following;
- Two Soil Standards
- Moorland and Rough Grazing standard
- Annual Health and Welfare Review
These standards have been selected for early rollout as the majority of the activities being paid for are in addition to the activities farmers can already receive payment for through existing schemes. Importantly, these standards can be used to offset the reduction in BPS that will begin to develop over the coming years and it opens new revenue streams not yet available.
Once fully rolled out in 2024/25, there is expected to be 8-10 different standards available.
The most appropriate standards for the South East are:
The Arable and Horticultural Soils Standard and Improved Grassland Soils Standard
- Farmers will be rewarded for implementing management practices that improve soil biology, soil structure and soil organic matter.
- The standard will be broken down to 3 different target levels of improvement
- The estimated payment is £26 to £70 per hectare per annum.
Annual Health and Welfare Review
- Farmers will receive funding for an annual vet inspection with the aim to carryout herd wide diagnostic testing and professional advice. Helping to improve livestock health and welfare.
- Depending on species, the payments will range from £269-775, but will likely only apply to commercial operations.
What happens next and what do I need to do to get involved?
The application period is set to open in spring 2022 with the Government planning to continue testing throughout the summer and autumn. The final standards and criteria is set to be released in November 2021.
For advice, please do not hesitate to contact our experts. Please telephone 01892 509280 or email:
Charlotte Pearson-Wood MRICS FAAV, Partner – email@example.com.
Alex Wilks MRICS FAAV, Partner – firstname.lastname@example.org