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Applications open for the Sustainable Farming Incentive
27 July 2022

Applications for the Sustainable Farming Incentive (SFI) scheme are now open. There is no deadline for applications, which can be submitted online though the Rural Payment Agency’s system.  Payments will be made quarterly with the first payment usually made 3 months after the agreement start date.

Currently there are only two standards available but more will be available in future years. The standards available, as well as the payment rates, are detailed below:

Arable and Horticultural Soils Standard

Key Points:

To be eligible for this standard, each land parcel entered must be cultivated arable land. This can also include temporary grassland, i.e. land that has been in grass or other herbaceous forage for less than 5 years. Alternatively, temporary grass can be entered into the Improved Grassland Soils Standard. If the temporary grass will have been down for more than 5 years at some point during the 3 year SFI scheme, it will need to be entered in the Improved Grassland Soils Standard as it would no longer be considered arable land.

Improved Grassland Soils Standard

Key Points:

To qualify as ‘improved grassland’, the land must have been managed in some of the following ways:

  • been re-seeded at least once within the last 15 years
  • regular fertilising, typically at least 100 kg per hectare of nitrogen either as an artificial fertiliser or animal manures/slurries
  • boom spraying herbicide to treat weeds
  • active, well-maintained field drains
  • taking any conserved forage as silage, haylage or hay, usually more than once a year
  • a high coverage of ryegrass and white clover

The detailed scheme requirements can be found here.

For more information or to find out how our Rural Property & Business department can help you please contact 01234 352201 or 01280 428010 or email

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