Defra secretary Steve Barclay has unveiled a massive upgrade to the Sustainable Farming Incentive (SFI) offer for 2024 at the Oxford Farming Conference on Thursday (4 January).
Around 50 new actions have been added to the scheme to be delivered across a range of different farming practices and landscapes, including grassland, moorland, lowland, peat, agroforestry, wood pasture, scrub creation as well as for upland and common ground.
The updates include an average 10% funding uplift, streamlined application processes for farmers to apply for the SFI and Countryside Stewardship (CS) Mid-Tier, enhanced environmental incentives and support for the rollout of new technology, such as robotic weeding. Farmers will be able to submit their applications for the 2024 offer from this summer, and the timeline for agreements being offered will be accelerated to help farmers benefit from the changes earlier than in previous years.
Defra press release: