Sustainable Farming Incentive: how the scheme will work in 2022

Sustainable farming incentive details published today 2 December 2021

Status
Not open for further replies.

neilo

Member
Mixed Farmer
Location
Montgomeryshire
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.

That would seem a sensible way to go about it.

However, they might find details that don't fit with stakeholders' agendas. Just imagine, for example, if they discovered that @Henarar 's long term permanent pasture fields had higher soil OM levels than that continuous arable land managed by their direct drilling evangelists? :unsure:
 

Vader

Member
Mixed Farmer
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.
Why did you not work and listen to farmers before setting it up?
Not like it was just know last week that bps was going.
But I guess more trendy to take advice from anti farming (especially anti meat) groups instead.
 

Treg

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
Cornwall
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.
Or soil test vouchers? The RPA know how many parcels of land we have, send out % of vouchers to parcels claimed on , simple.
 

farenheit

Member
Location
Midlands
Why did you not work and listen to farmers before setting it up?
Not like it was just know last week that bps was going.
But I guess more trendy to take advice from anti farming (especially anti meat) groups instead.
Agreed. I have heard so so little about commercial growing of crops from these people. Is domestic food security just not a government priority at all?
 
Would YOU sign a legal contract to buy carbon sequestration services without a robust proof of supply?

I wouldn't......

And that's before we get into how long you are contracting to keep it buried for (50 - 100 years under the higher value contracts).

When Carbon reaches £100/ T, and I believe it must go well above that at some point, I'll start looking seriously at offering it as a service.

Who else but farmers and foresters can genuinely offer the service in the quantities the world needs?

Grassland and woodland are the country's 'bank' for carbon sequestration.
But if we offer to greenwash someone e;lse's dirty laundry, it means that they can keep polluting as long as we're paid enough?

They engage.
Listen to what farmers say.
Then ignore them as what fo farmers know.....?
Much better to take note of anti farming pressure groups they think...

Votes. And the Conservative Animal Welfare Federation manifesto.

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

Carbon credits do nothing to encourage heavy polluters to clean up their acts. They buy the right to carry on as before, and we lose the right to alter any farming practises for as many years as the contract lasts. Pollution, real or imagined, remains the same.
 

Goweresque

Member
Location
North Wilts
Wouldn't that be a contract condition?
The problem with the 'Government/taxpayer pays, user faces no charges' model is that it is exactly how the NHS operates, and we know how successful that has been. If the State is paying the contractor only has to keep the State happy, not the people using the service. A state funded soil testing service for farmers would offer the same levels of service we get from the NHS - take it or leave it.
 

Bobby Farmer

Member
Mixed Farmer
Hi Janet,

In the Policy paper released yesterday there is the following passage:

‘Where someone only has access to land under a licence arrangement (a licensee) it is unlikely they will have sufficient management control of the land for it to be eligible for SFI.’

We farm under license from a government body and have been able to claim BPS. Please can you confirm that if we were eligible for BPS, we will also be eligible for SFI?

Following on from this, our license agreement contains some SSSI prescriptions that could preclude us claiming SFI options and payments.

Under previous stewardship schemes, DEFRA has not paid for any action which is prescribed for in a tenancy or license agreement.

Will an general exemption to this rule be made in ELMS for tenants and licensees of public bodies?
 
If I add my time in on a lot of perm want pasture we cannot resow I am not sure it makes sense at that rate on small areas.
This will depend on your farm situation. You should be able to do the introductory level of the improved grassland soil standard without re-sowing.
 
Thank you @Janet Hughes Defra,

Although the requirement for organic matter to be applied on a third of the land every year, the new rules from the EA restricting the application of organic manures in the autumn, make this more difficult.

View attachment 1000981

I know manures aren’t the only way to apply OM, but in this area of the country, the demand for straw is high and (there was) a high demand for FYM.

Don’t get me started on why the water companies are allowed to dump sewage into rivers, yet farmers can’t responsibly apply manure in the autumn.
Re. The autumn muckspreading ban, there may not be a “requirement” for nitrogen for an autumn sown crop, but many farmers will testify, it will be noticeable where the muckspreader has missed, therefore, there maybe no requirement, but the crop will definitely utilise the nitrogen.

There seems to be a contradiction between the 2 departments, maybe wishful thinking on my part, but maybe bring these points to your counterpart in the EA? 🤞🏻
Hi Rob, as you mention there are a range of different ways you can add organic matter to soils, including manure. For example in the intermediate level of ambition, the multi species green cover does contribute towards your organic matter requirement. Where you use manure to meet this requirement, you'd need to do so in a way that also meets regulatory requirements - I'm not in a position to get into the detail of that on behalf of Environment Agency, but I do appreciate there are a lot of issues around that and my team is working with the regulatory teams and bodies to make sure that what we're asking in SFI makes sense in the context of regulatory requirements.
 
Am I right in understand that the overall ELMs funding package will be GBP 0.9 billion per year for England? Can you confirm what the overall ELMs funding level will be per year for the UK as a whole?
The total budget is £2.4bn per year. In 2020/21, £1.8bn of that came from direct payments. That will reduce to £900m by 2024/25, and that money will be used for a combination of environmental schemes and productivity schemes.

Most of the money that comes from BPS reductions will go into existing and new environmental schemes, with a smaller proportion going to productivity schemes.

We set this out in the agricultural transition plan last year - see page 26 https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/agricultural-transition-plan-2021-to-2024
 
How does the herbal lays work if all grassland is permenant pasture?
If you already have some herbal leys you just need to maintain them.

If you don’t have herbal leys as part of your farming system you will need to introduce them if you want to enter the intermediate level of ambition.

There will guidance available in the future regarding the types of plants we are expecting to see, but we won’t be prescribing a set mix - that's for you to decide based on your particular setting, soil, etc. You'd probably want to consider direct drilling or oversowing these mixes into grassland - this can be done, but needs careful management.
 

holwellcourtfarm

Member
NFFN Member
Makes no difference if you give out vouchers or cash, the price of the service will rise to take into account the value of the vouchers/cash grant provided.
The vouchers would have no value. They'd just be a right to a soil test compliant with the government contract. The financial stuff would all be between DEFRA and the provider.

Timescale and quality would be contract conditions between DEFRA and the provider.
 
From next year you can sign up for a 3-year agreement with two options focussing on soil health. There will be the possibility to sign up for agreements in the future focusing on different areas.
Introductory level – £28 per hectare

  • test soil organic matter
  • undertake a soil assessment and produce a soil management plan
  • 95% green cover to protect soil (no more than 5% bare ground over winter)
Intermediate level – £58 per hectare

  • test soil organic matter
  • undertake a soil assessment and produce a soil management plan
  • 95% green cover to protect soil (no more than 5% bare ground over winter)
  • Establish or maintain herbal leys to improve soil health on at least 15% of land in the standard

scroll about halfway down this link https://www.gov.uk/government/publi...ng-incentive-how-the-scheme-will-work-in-2022 to get the full details of what's required.

On that basis Miscanthus must be the sustainability wet dream ….
No annual fertiliser, 100% ground cover all year round, annual deposits of leaf matter improving organic matter in the soil and sequestering carbon into the bargain….!
 
Last edited:

Wombat

Member
Mixed Farmer
Location
East yorks
If you already have some herbal leys you just need to maintain them.

If you don’t have herbal leys as part of your farming system you will need to introduce them if you want to enter the intermediate level of ambition.

There will guidance available in the future regarding the types of plants we are expecting to see, but we won’t be prescribing a set mix - that's for you to decide based on your particular setting, soil, etc. You'd probably want to consider direct drilling or oversowing these mixes into grassland - this can be done, but needs careful management.
Thanks as on some quick seed price checks this morning seed and drilling of the herbal lays would take half the intermediate topup for the whole area year on year.
 

Goweresque

Member
Location
North Wilts
The vouchers would have no value. They'd just be a right to a soil test compliant with the government contract. The financial stuff would all be between DEFRA and the provider.

Timescale and quality would be contract conditions between DEFRA and the provider.

Thats still the NHS model then. Free at the point of delivery, paid for by central government. You as 'customer' will have no leverage with the service provider, because they have a monopoly, you have nowhere else to go, apart from shelling out your own cash to 'go private'.

If your soil samples take ages to be taken, or the results are late, or are obviously wrong, they won't care two hoots about it. They'll have been paid, who are you going to complain to? Defra?
 
Status
Not open for further replies.

Latest Poll on TFF

  • Yes

    Votes: 23 15.4%
  • No

    Votes: 126 84.6%

JCB launches Fastrac ‘iCon’

  • 192
  • 0
Written by Charlotte Cunningham from CPM Magazine

JCB has launched new Fastrac 4000 and 8000 Series tractors with an all-new electronics infrastructure which is claimed to deliver higher levels of performance. According to JCB, the new Fastrac iCon operator environment has three key features: iConfigure – creating a bespoke control experience for every operator iConnect – integrating advanced precision agriculture technology iControl – redefining operation through new driveline software The 175hp to 348hp (133kW to 260kW) Fastracs feature the new iCon armrest console and touch-screen display to provide flexibility in operator allocation and operator information, as well as a new transmission control strategy to enhance operator comfort and powertrain efficiency, says the manufacturer...
Top