Autumn 2023 Sustainable Farming Incentive Update

The Sustainable Farming Incentive (SFI) three-year agreement has seen minor changes to the Handbook first published in June 2023.  DEFRA have announced that farmers and landowners can now register by filling in a short online form to express their interest in the scheme.  Applications will open from the 18th September 2023 and successful applicants will start their agreement in a controlled roll out in the coming months. 

The Sustainable Farming Incentive covers 23 actions to choose from.  These actions relate to:

  • Soil health
  • Moorland assessment
  • Hedgerows 
  • Integrated pest management 
  • Nutrient management 
  • Farmland wildlife on arable and horticultural land, and improved grassland 
  • Buffer strips 
  • Low input grassland.

In response to feedback, DEFRA have made some changes to clarify wording and increased flexibility of some actions, for example:

  • NUM3 (Legume Fallow @ £593/ha) and AHL1 (Pollen & Nectar Flower Mix @ £614/ha) are now available to be part of a crop rotational option
  • Option SAM1 covering soil assessment and management plans, can be located on parcels also within a Countryside Stewardship Agreement.  The payment for this option is £95 per year and £5.80/ha.

These are just a few changes that have been made to the Handbook and there are more that could enhance the productivity, income and sustainability of your business.  If you would like to find out more information or would like help applying for the SFI, please contact your local office.

Authored by

Sophie Barker


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