Following the Oxford Farming Conference announcement from Secretary of State Steve Barclay, we have summarised the key points on the Agricultural Schemes.   

The average agreement value for Sustainable Farming Incentive and Countryside Stewardship will be increased by 10%. This rise in payment rates will automatically be applied to existing agreements. The rise in payment rates reflects the agricultural markets and cost of delivering the environmental actions.  

Defra are introducing premium payments for actions that have the biggest environmental impact or a combination of actions that will deliver benefits at scale. For example, you could get £765/ha for creating nesting plots for lapwing, or £1,242/ha for connecting river and floodplain habitat.

Theme Action 2024 Payment Rate with Premium (per ha)
Arable Nesting plots for lapwing £765
Lowland Heath Create lowland heathland £711
Agroforestry Maintain very low density in-field agroforestry on less sensitive land £248
Grassland Manage species-rich floodplain meadows £1,070
Water Manage features on arable land flood and drought resilience and water quality £1,241

From the summer, new applicants will be able to apply for Countryside Stewardship Mid-Tier and the Sustainable Farming Incentive actions together in one application. This will take out the issue of managing two agreements and ensure all funding is accessed.

In 2024, Defra are launching around 50 new actions, for the first time you can get paid for agroforestry or taking up agricultural technology such as robotic mechanical weeding.

If you have a Sustainable Farming Incentive agreement, you will be able to add on any new additional actions to your agreements at your annual review point, or benefit from the expanded offer when it opens later in the year, with an additional agreement.    

For further information on the announcement please follow the link: DEFRA Environmental Land Management in 2024 - Actions and Payments

Talk To Us…

If you would like assistance with any grant applications, please get in touch. We can help assess the best options between CSS and SFI for your farm and complete applications. Call us on 01666 817278 or email