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Defra Imposes a 25% cap of area entered into the six key Sustainable Farming Incentive actions

Defra Imposes a 25% cap of area entered into the six key Sustainable Farming Incentive actions

Mon 25 Mar 2024

Agricultural business consultancy

New measures reaffirming how environmental land management schemes work alongside food production is being introduced today (Monday 25 March). By limiting the amount of land farmers can take out of productive actions under the Sustainable Farming Incentive (SFI).

While there has been only limited evidence to date of farmers entering large amounts of their land into actions that take away food production, Defra have voiced that some of these actions were being used more than intended in a small number of cases.

Under the changes, SFI applicants will only be able to put 25% of their land into six SFI actions that take land out of direct food production.

Six Sustainable Farming Incentive Actions affected are:

Action Code Name Payment Rate
IPM2 Flower-rich grass margins, block, or in-field strips £798 per hectare
AHL1 Pollen and Nectar Flower Mix £739 per hectare
AHL2 Winter Bird food on Arable and Horticultural Land £853 per hectare
AHL3 Grassy field corners & blocks £590 per hectare
IGL1 Take improved grassland field corners or blocks out of management £333 per hectare
IGL2 Winter bird food on improved grassland £515 per hectare
Food production is the primary purpose of farming and today we are taking action to clarify this principle. The six actions we are capping were always intended to be implemented on smaller areas of land, and these changes will help to maintain this intention and continue our commitment to maintain domestic food production. Mark Spencer, Farming Minister.

The government is taking other measures to protect food security and ensure the UK  continues to produce at least 60% of the food we consume here in the UK include a new annual UK-wide Food Security Index to capture and present the data needed to monitor levels of food security


For more information on the Sustainable Farming Incentive, please contact your local Brown&Co office.

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