The Sustainable Farming Incentive

Farmers in England are experiencing probably the most rapid period of change that any of us have known since accession to the EU back in 1973. With the removal of Direct Payments, and the phasing in of the Environmental Land Management Scheme (ELMS), farm businesses will need to change and adapt. They need to ensure they can benefit financially from the environmentally positive actions they take, while ensuring any actions are right for the business as a whole.

The Sustainable Farming Incentive (SFI) is part of ELMS, currently being rolled out in England. The aim is to reward farmers for carrying out actions that benefit the environment, which will in turn help to achieve national targets. The SFI pilot began towards the end of 2021 and has eight standards which farmers could apply on their farms. The wider rollout of the SFI is due to begin in summer 2022. It will initially consist of three standards, two of which are available in the pilot scheme.

AHDB, alongside Harper Adams University, have produced an in-depth Horizon report, which aims to show farmers how carrying out various SFI standards could impact their farm business. There is no “one-size fits all”, because each farm and each business is unique. Farmers will need to do what is best for them. For this, they need to be well-informed.

Alongside farmers, the report is designed to inform policy makers. If we are to achieve the standards that have been agreed at COP26, government needs to ensure that all these schemes are attractive and appropriate for farmers across the board. Only then can the challenging environmental targets be reached.

Conclusions from the report​

Chart displaying outcomes from different SFI standards on farm income


Key messages for both the pilot and SFI 2022 are:

  • If farmers are already carrying out actions on-farm which are required under the SFI, it is beneficial to join the scheme because they will receive extra income
  • If farmers are not carrying out the actions required, but their farm set-up will allow them to do so with little additional cost, it is beneficial to join the scheme
  • For farmers where this is less apparent, it is worthwhile to carry out the calculations for their own farms to see if taking part in the scheme will be worthwhile for them
This is the first detailed piece of analysis undertaken to explore the new policies being announced by Defra for farmers in England. As more information becomes available, we will be examining future schemes in England, as well as in the devolved nations, and assessing the potential impact on agriculture across the UK.

The full report can be found on the AHDB website here: Assessing the impact of the Sustainable Farming Incentive on farm businesses

The report starts by looking at how agricultural policy in England is changing to become more environmentally focused, followed by a brief review of factors which affect farmers’ environmental management behaviour. Farmers’ attitudes towards the change in policy are then discussed, including any actions, if any, they are taking in response to the change. In particular, farmers’ views of the SFI pilot are examined, followed by analysis of its economic impact on farm businesses using AHDB virtual farms. Finally, the financial implications of SFI 2022 and key factors farmers should consider are explored.


Today's Grain Market Daily on the AHDB website - The Sustainable Farming Incentive

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DrWazzock

Member
Arable Farmer
Location
Lincolnshire
Can’t say I’m experiencing any change of direction at all. I’ll just keep growing cereals while they are over £200 a tonne, provided fertiliser comes down a bit which it will.
With grain prices as they are who needs to pee about with SFI or ELMS?
Feed wheat heading for £400 per tonne. That’s my kind of sustainability.
 

4course

Member
Location
north yorks
Can’t say I’m experiencing any change of direction at all. I’ll just keep growing cereals while they are over £200 a tonne, provided fertiliser comes down a bit which it will.
With grain prices as they are who needs to pee about with SFI or ELMS?
Feed wheat heading for £400 per tonne. That’s my kind of sustainability.
on reading the report its saying that taking up the scheme could result in a 1% increase in profit, personally wouldnt bother with any new enterprise ,which it effectively is .that didnt give the chance of making 10 times that. Lets face it if I worked for someone i would be looking at a 6% or more increase and it would only be my time invested not my hard earned as well
 

DrWazzock

Member
Arable Farmer
Location
Lincolnshire
SFI for arable farmers largely involves OM sampling and green cover crops.
I’d say a forecast 1% increase in profit as a result of this takes some believing. I doubt the result is even statistically significant at the 5% confidence level.
It’s just more drivel in my view, typical of the divergence from real life commercial farming that DEFRA and AHDB are embarking on, while using our levies to pay for it.
 

4course

Member
Location
north yorks
SFI for arable farmers largely involves OM sampling and green cover crops.
I’d say a forecast 1% increase in profit as a result of this takes some believing. I doubt the result is even statistically significant at the 5% confidence level.
It’s just more drivel in my view, typical of the divergence from real life commercial farming that DEFRA and AHDB are embarking on, while using our levies to pay for it.
Bear in mind this notional increase in profit is without the area payments which are a fair % of most farmers returns so basically its 1% of feck all
 

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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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