Sustainable Farming Incentive: how the scheme will work in 2022

Sustainable farming incentive details published today 2 December 2021

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@Janet Hughes Defra Sorry Janet; do you mean we can do this now on the pilot agreement we’ve already signed, sealed and delivered…or we can do it from the 2022 scheme year? Also; if we can alter things for each scheme year…why are they 3 year agreements? Thanks and really appreciate your time; each 2 minutes of your time here is saving us 45 mins of being on hold to the defra/RPA helpline and potentially still being none the wiser afterwards!
Sorry I mean you can do it in the main scheme from 2022; the pilot rules are unchanged. They're 3 year agreements because we need to have a minimum period to deliver environmental benefits. You can't take parcels out during that 3 year period, but you can add in parcels, levels of ambition and other standards. The idea is to make sure we see environmental impacts (hence the minimum 3 year period and no reduction in coverage during that time), but allow farmers to build up gradually if they want to (which we know a lot of farmers prefer, rather than having to go all in for a 5-year period as you have to in CS)
 

Walton2

Member
Sorry I mean you can do it in the main scheme from 2022; the pilot rules are unchanged. They're 3 year agreements because we need to have a minimum period to deliver environmental benefits. You can't take parcels out during that 3 year period, but you can add in parcels, levels of ambition and other standards. The idea is to make sure we see environmental impacts (hence the minimum 3 year period and no reduction in coverage during that time), but allow farmers to build up gradually if they want to (which we know a lot of farmers prefer, rather than having to go all in for a 5-year period as you have to in CS)
Good morning Janet,can I hijack this first post today and ask that you answer post 56 please?
 
Wasn’t the intention that professional help wouldn’t be required to complete the new scheme applications?

The current BPS is easy to complete and a lot of people rely on professionals to apply.

ELMS is three schemes and then the SFI for example is spit into different standards with different record keeping requirements for each standard. Then you throw in the additional standards coming down the line, slurry scheme, CSS, farm
Investment scheme.

Can someone please explain how this won’t require professional advice and I very much doubt those professionals will be working for peanuts? Therefore a lot of the pot will not be staying in the bank for long.
I know we have a lot to do on this front; we're working on it. We're making the scheme rules, forms and paperwork much simpler and more straightforward, and we're going to put everything into a single service where you can easily find what's relevant to you. You won't need to know whether it's SFI or Local Nature Recovery, you will just see all the options that are relevant to your farm type and location. We're working with farmers to develop this, if you'd like to get involved and help us get this right, then please get in touch - the more eyes we have on what we're doing, the better we can make it work for farmers.
 

holwellcourtfarm

Member
NFFN Member
A bit of info from yesterdays Times:

Carbon permits for industry have risen from £20/t at the beginning of the year to £76/t now. The government have stepped in and suspended the market in permits now due to the huge rise, worried about the cost for industry. They are considering releasing more permits from the ‘National Reserve’ to cool prices.

The rise in the cost of the permits has been attributed to more coal fired power stations being used in recent months as the gas price has spiralled

But Holwell does it not have to be regulated and controlled as ultimately the person paying the tax is you and me, and of those two more importantly me as I do not own a farm and farmland, so if the owner of farmland is to recieve payment the tax is a direct transfer of funds from me to you. Another cost burden. Government has to decide if this unregulated or an ordered mount. As we have seen with the recent unexpected rise in Gas prices something like that is not an electoral winner. Regulated tax it will end up being. I am just wondering how much the ordinary person will have to pay as they are nudged to be greener and taxed to provide cash to others to insulate their houses etc.
COP26: UK 'nowhere near' meeting targets agreed at Glasgow climate summit https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-59489563
 

DaveGrohl

Member
Location
Cumbria
A bit of info from yesterdays Times:

Carbon permits for industry have risen from £20/t at the beginning of the year to £76/t now. The government have stepped in and suspended the market in permits now due to the huge rise, worried about the cost for industry. They are considering releasing more permits from the ‘National Reserve’ to cool prices.

The rise in the cost of the permits has been attributed to more coal fired power stations being used in recent months as the gas price has spiralled
Aw bless. Those poor industry people, their nonsensical greenwash is becoming a wee bit pricey so the govt steps in. You really can't make it up.
 

neilo

Member
Mixed Farmer
Location
Montgomeryshire
be more sense for DEFRA to take on all these costs for the testing and stop the christmas present buying under the grant schemes , Your business can either afford the tools of your job or not ,
I have always been pretty self sufficient , making do and mend ,my kits old but reliable, i dont need some new shiney paint .
But i cant do anything with professional services , they are the biggest cost to my business for minimal return (except vets) , and being told i need to spend to stay in , just makes the whole change unviable

We’ve had free (5 tests) or 80% subsidised soil testing in Wales for the last 5 years, paid for from the full 15% modulation rate from SFP.
Most farm haven’t taken it up, with lots seemingly suspicious that the government is building a database to beat us with. :facepalm:
 

Hindsight

Member
Location
Lincolnshire
Aw bless. Those poor industry people, their nonsensical greenwash is becoming a wee bit pricey so the govt steps in. You really can't make it up.
You say poor industry people. The reality is any tax paid by industry is passed down to the consumer - that's me by the way. Inflationary - unless government reduces another tax I have to pay. And this government ain't reducing any taxes.
 

holwellcourtfarm

Member
NFFN Member
You say poor industry people. The reality is any tax paid by industry is passed down to the consumer - that's me by the way. Inflationary - unless government reduces another tax I have to pay. And this government ain't reducing any taxes.
Don't expect any sympathy from farmers on that point. We have been the ones left taking the hit for cheap food policy for decades as the only ones unable to pass on increased costs or prevent depressed prices.
 

andybk

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
Mendips Somerset
We’ve had free (5 tests) or 80% subsidised soil testing in Wales for the last 5 years, paid for from the full 15% modulation rate from SFP.
Most farm haven’t taken it up, with lots seemingly suspicious that the government is building a database to beat us with. :facepalm:
i bet uptake will be bigger now as it will be a compulsory part of the sfi , I really dont get why this grant scheme is being funded to such an extent , the cost of these eligible items will rise accordingly . no one is a winner except manufactures ,
better fund the soil tests , and fund (totally) the recording schemes for stock , like the french did with upra in the 70s which has led to the huge amount of continental stock used around the world , not p155 up the wall on hardware
 

gloria1

Member
Hi Janet,thanks for updating us, it is appreciated despite huge concerns.
QUESTION.if you join the improved grassland intermediate SFI,is it correct you have to have a soil test/ SOM for every single field, rather than spread over the whole farm area.?
If this is correct those with many small fields surrounded by hedges and tree shelter belts will be heavily penalised against a single 100 hectare field of mono culture?,so the incentive will be to not plant hedges and if allowed remove them and trees,which is crazy.
Surely permanent grass surrounded by hedges and trees is already a huge carbon sink ,grass almost on a par with trees,and deserves rewarding far more than an arable area.
I guess you need to rethink if you want grass farmers to join SFI
 

holwellcourtfarm

Member
NFFN Member
The point has been made repeatedly about opportunistic price raising by the supply industry when grant schemes fund a particular input, be it a slurry store, direct drill or a soil test.

Could DEFRA consider a system of direct funding soil testing to avoid this? Farms would request soil tests which would then be undertaken and paid for directly by DEFRA without the money actually going to the farm first. In this way DEFRA could issue a competitive tender contract for the work as a block to ensure best value and consistent methodology.

The soil tests get done, the farmers get the results (as do DEFRA) and cost inflation is discouraged.
 

Hindsight

Member
Location
Lincolnshire
Don't expect any sympathy from farmers on that point. We have been the ones left taking the hit for cheap food policy for decades as the only ones unable to pass on increased costs or prevent depressed prices.

Hi, sympathy is the last thing I expect from a farmer! I was just commenting on the political reality of carbon taxes in general and in relation to paying farmers an amount for use of their ground as a carbon sink for my carbon output. H
 

B'o'B

Member
Arable Farmer
Location
Rutland
@Janet Hughes Defra
Could you give some clarification to the OM soil tests.
what is the intended use from the results .
Will farmers be penalised if they are below a certain level, or drop from one year to the next.
Is there a national base to work from.
I’m trying to understand the point of them in isolation .?
As post #169

Test soil organic matter (both standards)

What:
Each year, you must ensure your soil has been tested for soil organic matter (SOM) within the last 5 years. This applies to all land parcels entered into the standard. If you have already done a SOM test for some or all of your land, that is fine until it gets to 5 years old, when you’ll have to re-do it. If you have not got an analysis for some or all land yet, you will need to get it done for this land within the first year of the SFI agreement. The results are to inform your soil management practices and will not be collected by Defra to monitor addition of organic matter.

When: See above. You may choose to carry out this action at the same time as your other routine soil testing required in Farming Rules for Water.

How: There are a number of commercial providers in the market.
 
The point has been made repeatedly about opportunistic price raising by the supply industry when grant schemes fund a particular input, be it a slurry store, direct drill or a soil test.

Could DEFRA consider a system of direct funding soil testing to avoid this? Farms would request soil tests which would then be undertaken and paid for directly by DEFRA without the money actually going to the farm first. In this way DEFRA could issue a competitive tender contract for the work as a block to ensure best value and consistent methodology.

The soil tests get done, the farmers get the results (as do DEFRA) and cost inflation is discouraged.
the problem with that is that there are some soil labs i would not use due to their inherent unreliability
the govenment does not have a history very good procurement value for money
 

Wombat

Member
Mixed Farmer
Location
East yorks
You say poor industry people. The reality is any tax paid by industry is passed down to the consumer - that's me by the way. Inflationary - unless government reduces another tax I have to pay. And this government ain't reducing any taxes.
Hasn’t stopped suppliers to Hs2 raking it in.
 

DaveGrohl

Member
Location
Cumbria
You say poor industry people. The reality is any tax paid by industry is passed down to the consumer - that's me by the way. Inflationary - unless government reduces another tax I have to pay. And this government ain't reducing any taxes.
And? I didn't invent the greenwashing or the finger pointing from the very industries that are using the most fossil fuels in the first place. As for the consumer (you and I) having to finally wake up well woopy doo. Bring it on.
 
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Five nature-recovery projects spanning 100,000ha launched

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Written by Michelle Martin from Agriland

Image-source-Savills-field-640x360.jpg
Five nature-recovery projects spanning nearly 100,000ha across the West Midlands, Cambridgeshire, the Peak District, Norfolk and Somerset have been announced by the government and Natural England today (Thursday, May 26).

This is the equivalent in size to all 219 current National Reserves.

The aim of the projects is to deliver nature recovery at a landscape scale, helping to tackle biodiversity loss, climate change and improve public health and well-being.

All five projects will make a significant contribution towards the national delivery of the international commitment to protect at least 30% of land and...
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