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Sustainable Farming Incentive – Expanded Offer for 2024

Sustainable Farming Incentive – Expanded Offer for 2024 Sally Blowey MRICS FAAV, Associate & Rural Chartered Surveyor, discusses the changes to the Sustainable Farming Incentive for 2024 and how, with over 100 actions, it may be worth looking at again for your farm; 

The Rural Payments Agency (RPA) have released details of the expanded Sustainable Farming Incentive (SFI) offer for 2024, the scheme will be available to most farmers to apply for from 22nd July 2024. If you are interested in applying sooner you can submit an Expression of Interest and the RPA will invite people to apply as part of a controlled rollout so the process can be adjusted as required.

SFI pays farmers to take actions that can help improve farm productivity, make farms and food production more resilient, and improve the natural environment and climate. 

Agreements are for a term of 3 or 5 years, applications will be open year-round with agreements commencing on the first day of the calendar month following their acceptance. Under an SFI agreement, the annual payment is paid in quarterly instalments. The first payment is usually made in the fourth month after an agreement’s start date.

For 2024, the number of actions on offer through SFI will increase from 23 to 102. With new actions for precision farming, moorland, flood and water management, agroforestry and no till and updated versions of actions previously available under the mid-tier scheme and the 2023 SFI offer.

Some of the actions available under the 2024 SFI include;
•    Maintain or establish hedgerow trees £10 per 100 metres for both sides
•    Maintain earth banks or stone-faced hedgebanks £11 per 100 metres for one side
•    Manage grassland with very low nutrient inputs    £151 per hectare
•    Maintain weatherproof traditional farm or forestry buildings £5 per square metre
•    Assess soil, produce a soil management plan and test soil organic matter     £6 per hectare and an additional payment of £97 per agreement
•    Multi-species winter cover crop    £129 per hectare
•    Herbal leys £382 per hectare
•    Remove livestock from grassland during the autumn and winter     £115 per hectare

In addition to the actions, the RPA will also pay an SFI management payment to cover the administrative costs of joining the scheme. The management payment will pay £40 per hectare for up to the first 50 hectares entered into an eligible agreement and £20/ha for the first 50 hectares for years 2 and 3.  

If you are interested in applying for the 2024 SFI offer and would like to know more please contact our Professional Services team on 01884 235701 or Stags has a team of rural professionals located across the South West who are happy to help with all grant/agri-environmental scheme applications.