Sustainable Farming Incentive Goes Live

8th July 2022

 

As of Thursday last week the Sustainable Farming Incentive (SFI) went live for applications.

 

With the continuing decline of the Basic Payment Scheme (BPS), DEFRA is hoping that the SFI will be popular among farmers and landowners, predicting that about 70% will put land into the scheme.

 

As the name suggests, the scheme encourages management of land that will improve sustainable food productions rather than give payment for the amount of land held.

 

There are many beneficial differences to BPS, as follows:

  • No set application window, giving farmers the ability to work around their farming calendar and the choice as to when to apply
  • Agreements lasting for 3 years but with the option to add more land or standards on a yearly basis, giving farmers the flexibility to test the waters of the new scheme before jumping in completely
  • Payments will be received quarterly to help ease cashflow which I’m sure will be particularly helpful at the moment with increasing fertiliser, feed and fuels costs, not to mention general inflation on all other costs too
  • The possibility of combining SFI with other Natural Capital Schemes, such as Carbon Sequestration schemes or Biodiversity Net Gain, so long as payment is not made twice for the same outcomes.

 

The scheme is open to any farmer who currently receives BPS.

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