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SFI updates for 2024

January 2024

Today’s Oxford Farming Conference brought news from the DEFRA Secretary Steve Barclay that the environmental land management schemes are to be expanded throughout 2024. These plans are due to provide farmers and landowners options for funding towards environmental improvements alongside farm productivity as the Basic Payment Scheme continues to be phased out. 

Plans surrounding additional Sustainable Farming Incentive Actions have been murmured about for some time, but today brings some clarity as to what these will look like. Amongst the announced changes is up to 50 new Actions to choose from with ‘premium payments’ being made available for the options with the highest environmental merit. These will include new actions to focus on water management and agroforestry. Examples of these premium payments include farmers managing species-rich floodplain meadows for £1,070/ha/year, creating nesting plots for Lapwings on arable land at £765/ha/year; and maintaining medium density in-field agroforestry for £595/ha/year. These actions will be available to apply for later this year along with the existing SFI 2023 actions which have already seen a healthy uptake. 

Farmers and landowners will also be pleased to hear that in addition to some of the new actions and premium payment rates, existing revenue payment rates are to be increased by 10% for the average value of an agreement. This applies to those who have already entered into SFI and CS agreements. An example of this increase would be the Farm Wildlife and Habitats on Grassland Action IGL2 (winter bird food on improved grassland) which has increased to £515/ha/year, up from £474/ha/year.

The 3-year term of the majority of SFI agreements (excluding some woodland offers) provides additional flexibility to those wishing to apply, providing they have management control of the land for that period. Applications are remaining open for SFI 2023 Actions and can be ‘upgraded’ to include new options as time goes on. 

It is worth mentioning that SFI agreements can run alongside existing and new Capital Grant applications which provide useful investment into your holding for works such as roofing, fencing, concreting and the laying of livestock tracks. 

If you would like to find out more about what funding is out there, please get in touch with our specialists in your nearest office.

Honiton 01404 46222
Ivybridge 01752 393737
Tiverton 01884 243000

Bristol, Redhill 0117 203 5577
Burnham-on-Sea 01278 765588
Chard 01460 238383
Sedgemoor 01278 410250
Yeovil 01935 415300

Dorchester 01305 268786

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