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Sustainable Farming Incentive (SFI) scheme 2022 details and temporary reprieve for urea

Sustainable Farming Incentive (SFI) scheme 2022 details and temporary reprieve for urea

Wednesday, 06 April 2022

The Government announcement from George Eustice on 30 March received a warm reception across the agricultural board, particularly regarding urea usage and farming grants.

The Secretary of State’s announcement details steps to help farmers with rising costs, and the growing concerns over the availability of fertiliser, further details can be found on GOV.UK. Focussing on fertiliser usage and also taking into account the price volatility in the market the government propose:

  • A deferral of a year for changes in the use of urea
  • Better and clearer guidance on the use of slurry during autumn and winter
  • New slurry grants available from the autumn to help provide improved slurry storage facilities

In addition to the fertiliser proposals, the announcement also included further detail on the 2022 Sustainable Farm Incentive (SFI) grants. This expands on the previous announcement, giving final versions of the requirements for arable and horticultural soils, moorland, improved grassland and the annual animal health and welfare review. It’s also confirmed that:

  • Applications can be made from June 2022 and the initial contracts will run for three years from the date of the agreement, paid quarterly in arrears
  • Payment rates will vary between £10.30/Ha for introductory moorland to £58/Ha for intermediate improved grassland
  • There will initially be two levels of standard, with the highest level being introduced in 2025. Whilst each parcel must have a single level, different levels can be applied to different parcels, and ditches and naturally surfaced tracks can be included
  • SFI can be claimed on land which is within an existing Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) or Stewardship scheme providing payment is not claimed twice for the same function.
  • Further standards are planned, such as a hedgerow standard in 2023 and a water body buffering standard in 2024

We recommend reviewing the relevant schemes and grants over the next few months to see what help may be available to you. If you’d like to discuss the implications of these changes in more detail, please get in touch with your usual Larking Gowen contact. You can find contact details in the Our People section of our website. Alternatively, call 0330 024 0888 or email enquiry@larking-gowen.co.uk.

Laurie Hill

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