Defra's New Standards For The 2023 SFI Scheme

Defra’s New Standards For The 2023 SFI Scheme

Beth Speakman

Beth Speakman

Jan, 31 2023

Published on 26th January, Defra announced the roll out of six new standards under the Sustainable Farming Incentive with the three-year agreements aimed at promoting biodiversity, air quality, climate change adaptation and water quality.

The new standards include:

  • Nutrient Management Standard
  • Integrated Pest Management Standard
  • Hedgerow Standard
  • Arable & Horticultural Land Standard
  • Improved Grassland Standard
  • Low Input Grassland Standard

Several of the new Hedgerow and Arable & Horticultural Land Standards align with existing Countryside Stewardship options, such as BE3 hedgerow management, AB9 winter bird food blocks and AB1 pollen and nectar mixes, with SFI payment rates mirroring these.

However, the introduction of the new Integrated Pest Management and Nutrient Management Standards offer funding for written assessments under each, and can be stacked with either CSS parcel options, or with other SFI standards to provide supplementary funding as Basic Payment Scheme rates continue to reduce.

These new standards follow the introduction of the SFI Management Payment of £20 per hectare up to 50 hectares and pave the way for future stackable options, as additional standards are expected to be introduced between 2023 and 2025, with greater focus likely to be placed on farm biodiversity, woodland and water protection.

STANDARD OPTION PAYMENT RATE
Hedgerows Manage Hedgerows with a range of heights & widths £10/100m/side
Integrated Pest Management Complete IPM assessment annually £989/year
Integrated Pest Management No use of insecticides on parcels entered £45/ha
Nutrient Management Create Nutrient Management Assessment £589/year
Nutrient Management Establish legume fallow & maintain for 3 years £593/ha
Arable & Horticultural Land Establish grassy field corners £590/ha
Improved Grassland Maintain sward for winter bird food £474/ha
Low Input Grassland Manage grassland with very low inputs £151/ha

To read our full summary document of the SFI updates please click here.

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