SUSTAINABLE FARMING INCENTIVE – PILOT SCHEME ELMS 25-6-2021 – STANDARDS
These details are taken from the SFI Pilot Scheme. Whilst all invitations onto this pilot have now been sent and the period for expressing interest is closed, the information below however gives an indication as to what ELMs SFI may eventually look like. It is unlikely that the full roll-out of the SFI in 2024 will remain the same as the pilot in 2021 and we would expect both the actions required and payment for completing them to alter as the scheme is refined and developed with the pilot which runs for the next three years. We aim to update and share what we learn, with our clients, as the pilot progresses and further forms of SFI are introduced.
DEFRA have announced details of eight available standards, including the actions to be undertaken for each and the payment rates involved. The standards are as follows, with links leading to the requirements for each agreement:
- Arable and horticultural: land
- Arable and horticultural: soils
- Farm woodland
- Improved grassland
- Improved grassland: soils
- Low and no input grassland
- Water body buffering
Payment rates have been confirmed for the pilot, and can also be found in the above links.
Some standards will have additional actions that provide extra payments ranging from £3 to £311/ha.
When deciding on agreements, the table below states which standards are eligible depending on the land use:
- The RPA Online service will be used for the application process.
- Standards will then be selected for each available parcel.
- Each standard will have one of three ambition levels chosen.
- The land must not have an existing agri-environment agreement on it or be common/shared
- The whole farm needs not to be included, individual parcels can be selected.
- More than one standard may be applied to the same parcel in some cases.
- Sustainable Farm Incentive Historic Environment Farm Environment Record must be checked before application to check historic and archaeological features which may affect viability of certain agreements
- If land is in an SSSI, this will affect the standards available.