DEFRA have issued an initial briefing on the Sustainable Farming Incentive (SFI) scheme. SFI is due to start in 2022 and will pay for environmentally sustainable management above what is required by law.
An SFI pilot is to begin this year, running until late 2024, which will help develop the future scheme. We understand applications will be due in June, with the pilot starting in the autumn. It will be open to Basic Payment Scheme recipients on land not currently in a Countryside Stewardship Scheme.
The pilot will focus on eight initial “standards” with three levels of commitment and associated payment rate; introductory, intermediate and advanced. These include improved grassland, arable land and hedgerows.
More information can be found at the below link, with Annexe 1 providing an overview of initial standards: Sustainable Farming Incentive: Defra’s plans for piloting and launching the scheme – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)