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Olivia-Alice Hutchings MRICS FAAV, of our Tiverton professional department highlights the key details of the Sustainable Farming Incentive (SFI), which forms part of the government’s environmental improvement plan.
The SFI will provide accelerated and enhanced funding for farmers to take actions which support food production, farm productivity and resilience, whilst protecting and enhancing the environment.
DEFRA has recently announced that farmers can apply for the SFI from 18th September 2023.
The SFI key details are as follows:
1. SFI agreements last for 3 years and payments are made quarterly to support cash flow;
2. A management payment of £20/ha for the first 50 hectares is paid to cover enrolment costs;
3. Under the updated 2023 scheme, there are now 23 actions available, including low input grassland, moorland, hedgerows and soil health;
4. Farmers are able to apply for SFI and countryside stewardship at the same time, if the options are compatible and so long as they are not receiving double funding;
5. Tenant farmers will benefit from shorter agreement lengths that do not require landlord consent;
6. A payment to cover an on-farm vet visit each year to review the health and welfare of livestock; and
7. To be eligible, you need to have been a Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) eligible farmer on either 16th May 2022 or 15th May 2023. Please note, the scheme is expected to be open to all in the future.A full list of options and payment rates can be found in the handbook for the 2023 offer, available here. If you would like further information, or would like us to submit on your behalf, please contact our Professional Services team on 01884 235701 or, for more information on other services that we offer, head to our website.