What is the grant available for?
There are 23 actions on offer under the new and improved 2023 scheme, including on soil health, moorland, hedgerows, integrated pest management, farmland wildlife, buffer strips, and low input grassland.
Unlike existing and previous schemes where farmers have had to wait until the end of the first year of their agreement to receive any payment, payments under SFI 2023 will be paid quarterly to support farmers’ cashflow and activities required in the scheme.
SFI pays farmers to adopt and maintain sustainable farming practices that can protect and improve the environment.
You can apply for a 3-year SFI agreement to do environmental land management actions to help you manage your land in a more sustainable way.
You can get paid for:
• a vet to visit your farm annually to review the health and welfare of your livestock and give you advice about improvements you could make, which will help you
increase farm productivity and resilience
• environmental land management actions under Countryside Stewardship (CS) which pays for more targeted actions relating to specific locations, features and habitats – CS is being improved, instead of developing a new Local Nature Recovery scheme
• environmental land management actions under Landscape Recovery which pays for bespoke, longer-term, larger scale projects to enhance the natural environment
Any eligibility criteria
Farmers can sign up for the Sustainable Farming Incentive (SFI) from 18 September and will be invited to register their interest from Wednesday (30 August) by the Rural Payments Agency.
Farmers are able to be in SFI and Countryside Stewardship at the same time as long as the actions are compatible, and they are not being paid for the same action twice. The confirmed timeline for SFI allows time for small final technical adjustments to ensure the service works as straightforwardly as possible for all our customers and aligns with the closing date for CS.
You can apply for an SFI agreement if you’re a farmer who’s eligible for the Basic Payment Scheme (BPS).
You can enter land into an SFI agreement if it’s in England and:
• you expect to have management control of the land for the duration of the 3-year SFI agreement, including land you occupy under a tenancy on a ‘rolling’ year-by-year basis
• it's eligible for the SFI actions you choose.
To find out more about if your land is eligible for different SFI actions click here.
Who provides the grant?
Sustainable Farming Incentive who is run by the Rural Payments Agency (RPA) on behalf of Defra.
How to apply for the grant?
On how to apply, or to find out more information please click here.
There is also more information found in the SFI handbook which you can find here.