SFI Update – Expanded offer 2024

In late May we received an update on the offer from Sustainable Farming Incentive (SFI) which is set to be available in July.

Having studied the 366 page guidance we can be excited for actions such as the long awaited Stone Wall Maintenance, at £27/100m and the popular action from Mid-Tier Countryside Stewardship being the Maintenance of traditional farm buildings at £5/m2. Being from an upland livestock farm it will be no great surprise that I am delighted to see a range of Moorland actions and livestock related actions such as Winter Livestock removal and the Native breed supplement.

Agroforestry is for the first time available to all, not just those under the Higher Tier Stewardship agreements. This may be of interest to those looking to add shelter and shade to pastures along with all the other benefits of woodland with out taking land out of productivity. Payments of £248 or £385/ha depending on density can be achieved.

For arable farmers, there are some welcomed additions such as precision farming for variable rate application of nutrients at £27ha, remote sensing spraying at £43/ha, No Till farming at £73/ha, Ditch Management at £4/100m, as well as basic £58/ha and enhanced over winter stubble at £589/ha which has always been a popular Mid -Tier option.

Surprisingly and despite the great take up of the Herbal ley action they appear to have reduced the species requirement for all three down to a minimum 1 Grass, 2 Legumes and 2 herbs or Wildflowers. With no change to the payment rate of £382/ha we will no doubt see this continuing to be a popular action. As with all the actions the how-to section is still to be released along with a controlled roll out of the application process to test the systems, so…watch this space!

For those of you that already have a live SFI 2023 agreement there is the opportunity to run SFI ‘24 agreements alongside your existing agreements to take advantage of the new offers.  Additionally, you need to watch the payments as these are expected in the fourth month after the agreement start date. Keep an eye on these as we learnt at the end of BPS that payment queries can only be raised within 6 weeks of the payment being made. The fourth payment will not be paid unless an annual declaration is completed to confirm you have complied with the agreement. If you would like to know more, get in touch and we can see how SFI can fit with your land.

Authored by

Fiona Robinson

07815 766131

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