The government have today (21 June) confirmed details of an expanded yet simplified Sustainable Farming Incentive (SFI) 2023.
Farmers would be paid every three months for taking actions from a range of the 23 available that contribute towards food production and improve farm productivity and resilience, which at the same time improve the environment to achieve the targets set out in the Environmental Improvement Plan.
Participating farmers will be encouraged to choose individual SFA actions which best suit their farms, with the government having confirmed that the additional actions over and above the 2022 scheme will ensure there is support for all types of farms.
Furthermore, to support tenant farmers, there are shorter agreement lengths that do not require landlord consent, together with a range of actions and payments more readily accessible to those on shorter agreements.
Applications will be accepted throughout a staggered rollout in August 2023. The government have confirmed that they will contact farmers who were originally signed up to the 2022 scheme directly, as well as those who had submitted applications to advise how to access payments, benefits, and improvements to the 2023 iteration of the scheme.
The Department for Farming and Rural Affairs will shortly publish the new SFI handbook for 2023, incorporating updated and expanded guidance around the SFI, including actions, payment rates, and criteria to allow farmers to join the scheme, as well as confirming which SFI actions can be taken alongside Countryside and Environmental Stewardship options.
You can read the Government’s announcement here.