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Defra's expanded and improved SFI offer: The new, streamlined SFI 2024 scheme set for early June rollout

Defra have published a press release about the expanded Sustainable Farming Incentive offer. Full detail on the expanded SFI offer can be found here.


In a similar way to the roll out of the earlier iteration of the SFI it seems like Defra are giving themselves an opportunity to iron out any of the glitches in the system by rolling out SFI 24 beginning in early June with farmers in England invited to submit an expressions of interest to the Rural Payments Agency (RPA) if they wish to sign up.

It is pretty much as we were expecting, with Mid-Tier Countryside Stewardship (CS) actions being merged into the SFI scheme, with a single application and payment process and a “pick and mix” approach with over 100 different actions available including over 20 new options to support more sustainable food production,

NFU deputy president David Exwood, has said that the new offer is “improved, broader and more flexible”. Meanwhile, Tenant Farmers Association chief executive George Dunn has said he is pleased with the improved offerings for grassland and upland farmers, and efforts to make sure SFI works for tenant farmers with many options being reduced from five-year actions to three-year.

The new scheme is set to open in early June, though farmers are already being invited to submit expressions of interest to the RPA, which will then invite a selected number to submit applications. Any technical problems can then be ironed out, and Defra expects to have the application process streamlined and fully operational from 22 July.

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