Sustainable Farming Incentive: how the scheme will work in 2022

Sustainable farming incentive details published today 2 December 2021

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neilo

Member
Mixed Farmer
Location
Montgomeryshire
Fair comment to a practical situation but why the poor return. Firstly 99.9% of business would laugh them out of the room for wanting to interfere in there day to day affairs . Secondly the money been offered is 0.01% of return per unit of my family's inheritance. (The unit being an acre of land roughly valued today at £10,000 ) so why would I invest into this when I could probably get a return of 1.5- 2% elsewhere for no hassle . This bank if it was a bank would never get investment at this level.The carrot needs to grow and rapidly .

Are you really suggesting that ag support should pay you a return on the grossly inflated asset value, equivalent to what you could earn investing that equity elsewhere?
 
@Janet Hughes Defra
thankyou for the response. However, I am struggling to see why DEFRA are so reluctant to act quicker on rewarding Permanent Pasture.
You have a wide open goal there that can score big results immediately for farmers, the environment and, more importantly, your own costs of administration. Why do you fail to take advantage of it?
You are running a very risky policy at the moment because land managers are sceptical about DEFRAs proposals. Permanent Pasture is the one landscape feature that will disappear in the interim years of indecision and "jam tomorrow".
As that PP disappears so do the ecosystems that are supported by it. The open goal could turn out to be a disastrous own goal.

I ask that you seriously reconsider your ambitions for PP. Act now, value it now and it will repay you financially, ecologically and in genuine support from farmers.
Thanks, I do see your point, we will have a look at this as part of our ongoing planning.
 

topground

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
North Somerset.
There aren't any requirements in the standards relating to grazing patterns or permanent pasture - permanent pasture will be covered in a later standard. We're not dictating anything to anyone - farmers will have a range of standards to choose from, we're designing the scheme so that it will include something for all kinds, sizes and locations of farms. In all cases we base what's in the standards on scientific evidence about which actions are most likely to provide the best outcomes.

Here's a post on how SFI will develop over the next few years: https://defrafarming.blog.gov.uk/2021/12/06/how-the-sustainable-farming-incentive-will-develop/

Introductory level: actions​

You must do the following actions to be paid £27 per hectare.

Read the section of this guide about evidence you should keep.

1. Manage fields for grazing​

This action will increase biodiversity and help reduce run-off.

Do one of the following:

  • graze to keep an average sward height of at least 5cm, over at least 75% of the area of grazed pasture during the growing season
  • graze rotationally, with rest periods
This was lifted from the Govenment website this afternoon .
What’s this @Janet Hughes Defra?
How will the outcomes you believe will be delivered be measured?
Please ask your advisors how I should explain to the ruminants that inhabit my farm they shouldnt crop the grass short and if they do how will your inspectors (who don’t have a track record of being trusted by farmers) be able to gather evidence that this average award length has been maintained or not?
How is this in any way enforceable? If the outcomes are not measurable and the standards are not enforceable it is a nonsense.
 
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holwellcourtfarm

Member
NFFN Member
If the land would fall within the eligibility of improved grassland for the length of the agreement (ie three years) it can be entered into the grassland Standard at the start of the agreement and not the arable land Standard.

Land that is in the grassland standard counts towards the grassland actions and land that is in the arable standard counts towards the arable standard.

The land cannot count towards both at the same time.

The ability to change at the 12 month anniversary points of the agreement will enable farmers to update their agreements to reflect the current land use as part of the rotation.
Sorry Janet, I must be slow today but does that mean grassland has to be classed as temporary grass on the rural land register to count as improved grassland and that all land designated (very artificially I might add) by RPA as permanent pasture is automatically "unimproved grassland" for the SFI?
 

steveR

Member
Mixed Farmer

1. Manage fields for grazing​

This action will increase biodiversity and help reduce run-off.

Do one of the following:

  • graze to keep an average sward height of at least 5cm, over at least 75% of the area of grazed pasture during the growing season
  • graze rotationally, with rest periods
This was lifted from the Govenment website this afternoon .
What’s this @Janet Hughes Defra?
How will the outcomes you believe will be delivered be measured?
Please ask your advisors how I should explain to the ruminants that inhabit my farm they shouldnt crop the grass short and if they do how will your inspectors (who don’t have a track record of being trusted by farmers) be able to gather evidence that this average award length has been maintained or not?
How is this in any way enforceable? If the outcomes are not measurable and the standards are not enforceable it is a nonsense.

I am afraid that this prescription is one that requires possible variable interpretations by an Inspector. No thanks..
 

steveR

Member
Mixed Farmer
I have several km of wide permanent margins here, that will sadly be disappearing next Spring. I have kept them on in the hope that even if it was only the watercourse margins, I could afford to keep some intact.

Might give them one more year and see if something tempting comes along, but.....
 

delilah

Member
Hi,
Did you send a group email to them all with your proposla documents? What replies did you get?

All the best

I did, apart from the one on that list i've been unable to find an email address for. Had three responses to varying degrees of support. One observation was that they feel they are a box ticking exercise for Defra rather than genuinely having input, we can only hope that isn't true.
 

delilah

Member
Hi,
I am very supportive and largely agree with your proposals. But do you not think there is a good case for area payments for grazed temporary grassland/herbal ley, along with hay, haylage, herbage, as part of an arable rotation? I am not convinced of the benefit of any area payments for arable-only farms.

All the best

If we can get the SFI amended such that we were looking at that level of detail then I would be delighted.
 

bobk

Member
Location
stafford

Introductory level: actions​

You must do the following actions to be paid £27 per hectare.

Read the section of this guide about evidence you should keep.

1. Manage fields for grazing​

This action will increase biodiversity and help reduce run-off.

Do one of the following:

  • graze to keep an average sward height of at least 5cm, over at least 75% of the area of grazed pasture during the growing season
  • graze rotationally, with rest periods
This was lifted from the Govenment website this afternoon .
What’s this @Janet Hughes Defra?
How will the outcomes you believe will be delivered be measured?
Please ask your advisors how I should explain to the ruminants that inhabit my farm they shouldnt crop the grass short and if they do how will your inspectors (who don’t have a track record of being trusted by farmers) be able to gather evidence that this average award length has been maintained or not?
How is this in any way enforceable? If the outcomes are not measurable and the standards are not enforceable it is a nonsense.
Is £27 /ha , it ? like the lot ....
 
So they haven't done the pilots yet ? wtf .
We started the SFI pilot earlier this year, we've already learned a lot from it and reflected that in the scheme. We have also been doing tests and trials on the ground for the last 2+ years, and have learned a lot from existing schemes that has informed our design of SFI. We'll be continuing the pilot and a range of other activities to help us continue to improve the scheme as we roll it out.
 
Thanks Janet.

Will the option to mix CS & SFI be added during the pilot? A pilot phase where we're effectively being employed to provide the learning & feedback would seem a logical time to try things. otherwise our pilot will be limited to the three fields that aren't in CS.

If not, can we be in the pilot phase & the 'normal' SFI with different land parcels at the same time if we wanted?
You can be in both the pilot and the main SFI scheme on different parcels, yes.

For the pilot, we decided to focus on parcels not in CS because (a) we weren't ready to handle the complexity involved in the overlaps between SFI pilot standards and CS, and (b) we wanted to test SFI in its own right, to start with. We're not planning to change the pilot rules at this stage but we'll keep the rules under review, with our pilot participants.
 

B'o'B

Member
NFFN Member
Location
Rutland

Introductory level: actions​

You must do the following actions to be paid £27 per hectare.

Read the section of this guide about evidence you should keep.

1. Manage fields for grazing​

This action will increase biodiversity and help reduce run-off.

Do one of the following:

  • graze to keep an average sward height of at least 5cm, over at least 75% of the area of grazed pasture during the growing season
  • graze rotationally, with rest periods
This was lifted from the Govenment website this afternoon .
What’s this @Janet Hughes Defra?
How will the outcomes you believe will be delivered be measured?
Please ask your advisors how I should explain to the ruminants that inhabit my farm they shouldnt crop the grass short and if they do how will your inspectors (who don’t have a track record of being trusted by farmers) be able to gather evidence that this average award length has been maintained or not?
How is this in any way enforceable? If the outcomes are not measurable and the standards are not enforceable it is a nonsense.
Do you graze all your land, all the time?
I know of no farm that does, (maybe some do?). Therefore you rotationally graze, with rest periods. Job done, you only have to do one of the 2 options.

PS. I see no way of achieving option 1, without practicing option 2!
 

redsloe

Member
Location
Cornwall
Nothing! They're hardly going to change any of their practices given the 10 to 15 year nature of their crop. You wouldn't make a payment to encourage folk to drive blue cars to folk who already had blue cars.
Let's put 2 fingers up to permanent pasture too then if that's what it's about.
 

Goffer

Member
Mixed Farmer
Location
Yorkshire
Are you really suggesting that ag support should pay you a return on the grossly inflated asset value, equivalent to what you could earn investing that equity elsewhere?
Yes then why bother entertaining it. I'm mean this won't even cover an hours wages for a good man never mind anything else
 
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topground

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
North Somerset.
Do you graze all your land, all the time?
I know of no farm that does, (maybe some do?). Therefore you rotationally graze, with rest periods. Job done, you only have to do one of the 2 options.

PS. I see no way of achieving option 1, without practicing option 2!
It’s never cut if that is what you mean. I buy in hay.
 

Vader

Member
Mixed Farmer
There aren't any requirements in the standards relating to grazing patterns or permanent pasture - permanent pasture will be covered in a later standard. We're not dictating anything to anyone - farmers will have a range of standards to choose from, we're designing the scheme so that it will include something for all kinds, sizes and locations of farms. In all cases we base what's in the standards on scientific evidence about which actions are most likely to provide the best outcomes.

Here's a post on how SFI will develop over the next few years: https://defrafarming.blog.gov.uk/2021/12/06/how-the-sustainable-farming-incentive-will-develop/
The problem with scientific evidence in farming, is that quite often is agenda based.
Farmers are seen as unqualified peasants and so their years of practice knowledge and experience in real world is ignored in favour of a officially qualified person , often doing research to prove a result they wish to see.
Data and info can be manipulated how they want. Real life results can not.

Example from a environmental side.
Early HLS i was having problems getting flower mixs to grow well. Did well enough to pass inspections, but thought could be better.
I did a couple of small blokes of my own outside the scheme my own way.
Worked great and inspector/ case manager was very impressed with them.
When I said it was my own method and asked if I could do it on the official HLS , o was told no, as its not best/proper way to do it as quantified by the experts...

You probably seen with many of my posts, I am deeply sceptical of defra/rpa.
To many times I have knocked back for wanting to do better than the official way.
Experts won't take note of farmers as if they do, it shows they not really experts and don't know their stuff.
So we end up with schemes that don't work great as made up by non farming folk who are trying to justify their job.
 

B'o'B

Member
NFFN Member
Location
Rutland
It’s never cut if that is what you mean. I buy in hay.
Do you move your livestock from one field to another to graze closing the gate behind you?
If you do this, you have done enough to satisfy the section you quoted. £27/ha is yours, after you soil test for organic matter.
 
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Man fined £300 for bonfire-related waste offences

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Written by William Kellett from Agriland

court-640x360.jpg
A man has pleaded guilty at Newtownards Magistrates’ Court to waste offences relating to a bonfire next to the electrical sub-station on the Circular Road in Newtownards, Co. Down.

Gareth Gill (51) of Abbot’s Walk, Newtownards pleaded guilty to two charges under the Waste and Contaminated Land (Northern Ireland) Order 1997, for which he was fined £150 each and ordered to pay a £15 offender’s levy

On June 25, 2018, PSNI officers went to Gill’s yard, where they found a large amount of waste consisting of scrap wood, pallets, carpet and underlay.

Discussion with Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA) officers confirmed the site...
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