Sustainable Farming Incentive 2023 to open for applications from August

Wednesday, 21 June 2023

Defra have announced that the Sustainable Farming Incentive (SFI) 2023 will be launched in August.

The SFI scheme has been updated to provide farmers with more flexibility and make the process more streamlined.

The SFI 2023 will include actions rather than standards and farmers can pick and choose which actions they get paid for depending on what works best for their business.

There will be 23 new actions that cover the following themes:

  • Soil health
  • Moorland
  • Hedgerows
  • Integrated pest management (IPM)
  • Nutrient management
  • Farmland wildlife
  • Buffer strips
  • Low-input grassland

In addition to the new actions, there have been further updates to the scheme including:

  • Management payments will be available to cover participation costs
  • Shorter agreement lengths that do not require landlord consent to make the scheme more applicable to tenants
  • SFI actions can be combined with Countryside Stewardship options in the same parcels or areas of land

The SFI scheme was launched last summer (2022) and we published in-depth analysis to help levy payers make more informed, evidence-based decisions.

Following this announcement, we will be incorporating the latest information on the scheme to analyse the impact on farm businesses using our model farms.

Defra have also published the SFI 2023 handbook which contains information on the different actions.

Find out more about the updates to the SFI scheme on GOV.UK

AHDB analysis: SFI soils payments given a boost for 2023

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Jess Corsair

Senior Economist

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