Sustainable Farming Incentive: how the scheme will work in 2022

Sustainable farming incentive details published today 2 December 2021

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Clive

Staff Member
NFFN Member
Location
Lichfield
Sorry Janet, but that’s just discounted half of Shropshire, where our most profitable crops are things like spuds, beet, maize followed by wheat that is often plough/ combi drilled well into October or November .
no way are we turning to unprofitable spring cereals or beans to claim a few pounds per acre .

if higher value crops are so much more finically attractive why is loss of subsidy a big deal ? surely it inconsequential almost on higher output farms
 

Wombat

Member
Mixed Farmer
Location
East yorks
It’s not a subsidy though, it’s a payment to achieve outcomes desired by the powers that be. If you cannot deliver those outcomes within your business or rotation then don’t do it, most of the people on here are saying it’s naff all money anyway so leave it.
I think most people are saying for the risks and time involved its not enough. For our small area with all the other stuff i do, i can make it opening the caravan site for a bit longer and not have the hassle or stress.
 
echo this @Janet Hughes Defra these big ag input companies have spent the last decade or more actively trying to hold back Regen ag in my experience - systems that sell less bags and bottles make no sense to them commercially, some have actively "blackballed" farmers like myself in the past from supply

All of a sudden in a world of SFI they become the goto experts, copy and pasting ideas and advice others innovated to perfect, they even ask idiots like me to help them would you believe !

Almost sickening to hear and ironic to see them all now wanting in now Regen is clearly the direction of travel. There are far better ways to help farmers INDEPENDENTLY, number one being facilitation of direct farmer to farmer knowledge exchange, the experts ARE the farmers, not the agents or input suppliers

DEFRA need to understand the magnitude of this level of leaching form agents and supply trade and help / support farmers directly. Please don't cozy up to the leaches of this industry, farmers have really had enough of them now and are desperately trying to break the monopolistic hold they have over input supply. DEFRA could actually make a BIG difference to farmers bottom lines by helping with this, probably more valuable support than SFI payments IMO ! ....... I'm happy to discuss that last bit offline if you would like to

That there is the best thing that you have ever posted.
 

BrianV

Member
Livestock Farmer
It’s not a subsidy though, it’s a payment to achieve outcomes desired by the powers that be. If you cannot deliver those outcomes within your business or rotation then don’t do it, most of the people on here are saying it’s naff all money anyway so leave it.
But it needs to be remembered that we are competing with governments who appreciate their farmers far more, we only need to be able to compete without one hand being constantly tied behind our backs!
 

steveR

Member
Mixed Farmer
Having been in Countryside Stewardship Schemes, Entry level schemes and doing various capital works over the last 20 years I had a lot of enthusiasm for this when it was first aired.
The more I read the more I realise that it's not the sort of thing that the average farmer should be going anywhere near and that's a pity.
Ditto...

I can see that some of the options/standards would fit in with my present water company scheme, but I am unsure if the sheer hassle factor is appealing to me yet. That and dealing with the RPA afterwards...there is a reason I have left CS and declined the option to roll over my old scheme! :cautious:

I need to sit down over winter, and assess/cost it all out.
 

Humble Village Farmer

Member
NFFN Member
Location
Cb97ej
It's not all about carbon - there is absolutely no doubt (and plenty of evidence). that Regen Ag has created huge ecosystem gain on our farm over the last 15years, SOM and soil biology increased , water quality les erosion / nutrient leaching, insects and larger wildlife are FAR more abundant than they used to be

re Carbon - increasing SOM reduces CO2 in the atmosphere, that's a fact that can not be argued with, if you increase the C in soil it has come form somewhere, its not magic
I don't agree with all of that, it really is only about the carbon. Carbon is life basically, that's all you need to know, so while you've got life or stuff growing you have got carbon. You wouldn't have got those benefits (of healthy soils) without any carbon in them. The minute you start killing stuff and having bare soil you start to lose carbon to the atmosphere and everything starts to go down hill. That's why Janet and Defra are doing all this, despite it being declared unworkable in almost every corner of the land.

And I think it is magic.
 

Mixedupfarmer

Member
Location
Norfolk
It’s not a subsidy though, it’s a payment to achieve outcomes desired by the powers that be. If you cannot deliver those outcomes within your business or rotation then don’t do it, most of the people on here are saying it’s naff all money anyway so leave it.
That’s what will happen, but surely it makes more sense to pay good rates for water, hedge, tree, housing buffers for wildlife, pollution, public good and so on, rather than this over complicated prescriptive scheme which will have next to no take up in many parts of the country?
 

Clive

Staff Member
NFFN Member
Location
Lichfield
I don't agree with all of that, it really is only about the carbon. Carbon is life basically, that's all you need to know, so while you've got life or stuff growing you have got carbon. You wouldn't have got those benefits (of healthy soils) without any carbon in them. The minute you start killing stuff and having bare soil you start to lose carbon to the atmosphere and everything starts to go down hill. That's why Janet and Defra are doing all this, despite it being declared unworkable in almost every corner of the land.

And I think it is magic.

it's just science really - amazing but not magic despite the transformations it makes feeling so
 

BrianV

Member
Livestock Farmer
I don't agree with all of that, it really is only about the carbon. Carbon is life basically, that's all you need to know, so while you've got life or stuff growing you have got carbon. You wouldn't have got those benefits (of healthy soils) without any carbon in them. The minute you start killing stuff and having bare soil you start to lose carbon to the atmosphere and everything starts to go down hill. That's why Janet and Defra are doing all this, despite it being declared unworkable in almost every corner of the land.

And I think it is magic.
You may think it's magic now but would you of when you very first started out with very little? Somehow I don't think so, it's the big acreage farms that will get the benefit of this experiment!
 

topground

Member
Location
North Somerset.
It’s not a subsidy though, it’s a payment to achieve outcomes desired by the powers that be. If you cannot deliver those outcomes within your business or rotation then don’t do it, most of the people on here are saying it’s naff all money anyway so leave
Is anyone clear what those outcomes are and how they will be measured?
Still hoping for a reply to post 695.
@Janet Hughes Defra Still no news on how the outcomes are to be measured in respect of all grass farms, SOM figures not going to be collected by DEFRA according to my understanding of one of your previous posts despite these being the only data collected and that by farmers at their expense reducing the value of any payment and with no requirement that I can find to do anything with those result on farm
 

Mixedupfarmer

Member
Location
Norfolk
if higher value crops are so much more finically attractive why is loss of subsidy a big deal ? surely it inconsequential almost on higher output farms
The loss of £90/acre is a big deal on all farms, especially when it has just been put on rents, and getting them down is proving some what illusive
 

Clive

Staff Member
NFFN Member
Location
Lichfield
The loss of £90/acre is a big deal on all farms, especially when it has just been put on rents, and getting them down is proving some what illusiv

These higher output crops either pay better ore they don't - know one HAS to grow them if they can't do so in a financially attractive way

personally I would do whatever pays best for my business, if that was growing higher value crop and not being able to claim SFI then that would be my choice

I think fundamentally reading lots of posts in thread a lot simply haven't accepted SFI is no longer a sub for growing food - its a payment for doing something of benefit to the public or environment
 
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ben__adamss

Member
BASE UK Member
Had 3 phonecalls with the SFI team last week trying to edit my pilot offer to simply increase the total area of buffer strips.
Apparently the systems gone wrong, no idea whats happening currently
not holding out much hope
 

Humble Village Farmer

Member
NFFN Member
Location
Cb97ej
You may think it's magic now but would you of when you very first started out with very little? Somehow I don't think so, it's the big acreage farms that will get the benefit of this experiment!
Starting out on my own with very little was exactly what pushed me into this type of farming. Obviously I was very nervous with not much proper experience of cropping. There weren't any 2nd hand direct drills so I bought a new one for £23k and hired a neighbour's tractor. Does that answer the question?
 

theboytheboy

Member
Arable Farmer
Location
Portsmouth
Sorry me again...
But remote monitoring is BAD...
I am i the process of going through every field on my farm, making maps and photo evidence to show the last muppet who looked at our farm via satellite made a right mess.

Rpa shows us having hundreds of meters of hedge where we never had any. Lot is a steep bank and made a shadow on picture.
They even put a hedge that don't exist as a double hedge!
We got mini grass strips what are ditches, permanent grass what are our wild bird feed blocks,
Etc etc
I rang up and told them.
I got to show proof I am right.
Apparently the fact the feed block was on my hls agreement and I have been paid and inspectored is not proof...

Oh, we also Apparently have a building in a field.. no its not a straw stack, its a building.
They never got in touch to check this stuff, just changed it on the system.
Now I have to spend days (we have a LOT of small fields.. ) filling in forms and taking photos and measurements to prove whats been there for probably 60years+
All because of remote satellite checking....

Sorry again to be negative, but this stuff is why myself and many farmers are never keen on joining schemes now unless their is a decent financial incentive as we know their going go be a lot of stress down the line...
We had exactly the same......I still have no hedges according to RPA.....even though the guy I spoke to said he could see them on the aerial footage!

If I wanted to use them for efa I had to measure them and photograph them and do a load of rle1 forms.......I didn't bother as rle1 forms seem to go into a black hole 50% of the time.

Rather than be completely negative can I make a suggestion?

Remote sensing (or whatever the correct terminology is) that may trigger mapping changes should first trigger the proposed changes being checked with a phone call to the farmer. So much could be sorted with both parties logged in and looking at the same parcel number whilst speaking on the phone.
 

farmerm

Member
Location
Shropshire
Sorry to have been slow to reply to this one -
Winter cereals from late October are unlikely to deliver the level of cover required by the 1st December. In order to meet the 70% coverage you could consider adjusting your rotation, sowing cover crops immediately post harvest and moving to spring cropping or, where possible, undersowing the previous crop. It is also worth noting deep peat soils below the moorland line are not eligible for the soils Standards.

Also note you can enter as many or few of your parcels into SFI as you wish, so you could choose a selection that allows you to meet the 70% requirement.
Thanks Janet

So are you saying September/early October drilled crops may deliver the required level of cover? If I don't have 20% of our Autumn drilling done by mid October I am probably already in for a :poop:cropping year, a year when I will need such payments the most! In a "normal" year I have at least 20% drilled by Early October but not all years are normal! Entering less area in the scheme doesn't really help because I either have at least 20% of the farm drilled before mid October or its a repeat of 2019 and I have none drilled at that point. What happens if ones best intentions to meet the agreement rules at a given standard are disrupted by the weather?

But say we followed the suggestion for rotation changes or cover crops... £18/ha @20% of the land gives a budget of £90/ha for managing that 20%, farm does not consist of 10 equal sized fields so for us, on a whole field basis in any one year that really means committing 25-30%, that brings the figure closer to £72/ha is not much to compensation for changing to a less productive spring cultivation, spring cropping rotation and doing a quick look at seed suppliers it appears seed costs alone for many cover crop mixes can often be more expensive than that!
 
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Mixedupfarmer

Member
Location
Norfolk
These higher output crops either pay better ore they don't - know one HAS to grow them if they can't do so in a financially attractive way

personally I would do whatever pays best for my business, if that was growing higher value crop and not being able to claim SFI then that would be my choice

I think fundamentally reading lots of posts in thread a lot simply haven't accepted SFI is no longer a sub for growing food - its a payment for doping something of benefit to the public or environment
Agree, but the farms will still be £90/acre worse off than in the past despite being better paying than SFI, and it seems a shame that there will be no environmental / wildlife / public good in these areas, when I think well paid buffers to water / trees / hedges / housing could be a win for all.
 

DrWazzock

Member
Arable Farmer
Location
Lincolnshire
We had exactly the same......I still have no hedges according to RPA.....even though the guy I spoke to said he could see them on the aerial footage!

If I wanted to use them for efa I had to measure them and photograph them and do a load of rle1 forms.......I didn't bother as rle1 forms seem to go into a black hole 50% of the time.

Rather than be completely negative can I make a suggestion?

Remote sensing (or whatever the correct terminology is) that may trigger mapping changes should first trigger the proposed changes being checked with a phone call to the farmer. So much could be sorted with both parties logged in and looking at the same parcel number whilst speaking on the phone.
Agree it would be so much easier if you could speak to the bloke in the drawing office. Instead you complete RLE1 and it comes back a bit off from what you intended. I've given up on hedges.
 
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