Defra have announced that applications for the Sustainable Farming Incentive will be open from 18th September 2023. You will be able to register interest in applying from 30th August through your Rural Payments account, the aim is to ensure all maps and land use are correct before the application opening date.

Key information

  • How long is the agreement?  3 years
  • When to apply? Applications will open on 18th September 2023. The application window will then remain open to applications all year round.
  • When will the agreement start? Agreements to start on the first day of a given calendar month (this with be confirmed in your final agreement offer).
  • Who can apply? You must have been a BPS eligible farmer. You must have management control of the land for the scheme length. Tenants can enter into the scheme as they are the person(s) actively farm the land, but must have management control of the land for the scheme duration. You cannot apply if you have taken Lump Sum (unless the Lump Sum is repaid)
Some of the key actions include:
Code SFI Action Annual Payment
SAM2 Multi-species winter cover crops £129/hectare
SAM3 Herbal Leys £382/hectare
HRW2 Manage Hedgerows £10 per 100 metre - one side
IPM2 Flower-rich grass margins, blocks, or infield strips £673/hectare
IPM3 Companion crop on arable and horticultural land £55/hectare
NUM1 Access nutrient management and produce a review report £589/per year
NUM2 Legumes on improved grassland £102/hectare
LIG1 Manage grassland with very low nutrient inputs (outside SDAs) £151/hectare
* code NUM1 can be used towards the cost of DGCL producing your annual nutrient management plans and NVZ compliance.
The full details can be found in the handbook:
SFI annual health and welfare review of livestock
  • Eligible livestock keepers can get paid for a vet, or team chosen by a vet, to visit their farm and carry out an annual health and welfare review of eligible livestock.
  • you do not need to have an SFI agreement for environmental land management actions to apply for this.

Funding available:

  • £684 - pig review
  • £436 - sheep review
  • £522 - beef cattle review
  • £372 - dairy cattle review

Countryside Stewardship capital grants

Application for Countryside Capital Grants are open all year and agreement holders have 3 years to complete capital works.

For 2023 there is no limit to the value of capital items that can be included in each of these groups:

  • Boundaries, tress and orchards
  • Water quality
  • Air quality
  • Natural flood management

These grants are standalone capital grants available under CS which can also be used to support and complement CS Mid Tier, Higher Tier, Wildlife offers and ES Higher Level Stewardship.

There are 70 different items available for capital funding, some key items include:
  • RP15: Concrete yard renewal - £33.64 per square metre
  • RP28: Roofing (sprayer washdown area, manure storage area, livestock gathering area, slurry stores, silage stores) - £72.50 per square metre
  • RP4: Livestock and machinery hardcore tracks - £44.63 per metre
  • FG1: Fencing - £6.34 per metre
  • AQ1: Automatic slurry scraper - £2,760 per passageway/channel