30 June 2022

The Sustainable Farming Incentive has opened for applications in England today. The scheme is available to all farmers who currently receive Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) payments. It is designed to be accessible, and will reward sustainable practices that support food production and benefit the environment.

The Sustainable Farming Incentive is the first of three new environmental land management schemes being introduced under the Agricultural Transition Plan. The schemes will ensure long-term food security by investing in the foundations of food production: healthy soil, water, and biodiverse ecosystems.

The scheme will open with two soil standards recognising the importance of healthy soil for successful farming and the environment, and a moorland standard. In that standard, farmers will receive payment to assess the condition of the moorland as a basis for further action in the future through our existing and new schemes.

The new application service is designed to be quicker and more straightforward for farmers. It includes some new functionality that allows automation of the checks needed to process applications much more quickly.

There is no ‘application window’ and no deadline by which farmers must apply, so farmers can apply throughout the year at a time that works best for them. This is the initial rollout of the scheme. It will be expanded over the next three years as Direct Payments are reduced. The full set of standards will be in place by 2025.

See more information and full guidance on the Sustainable Farming Incentive here.


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