DEFRA released the following statement today (5th January):
Defra is increasing money available for farmers and land managers.
Today, Minister Mark Spencer gave a speech at the Oxford Farming Conference, in which he announced more support for our farmers through these difficult times of rising costs.
We are updating payment rates for both Countryside Stewardship revenue options and capital items from the start of this year.
We are also introducing a new Sustainable Farming Incentive (SFI) ‘management payment’. In addition to the money already available through the SFI, we will pay up to £1,000 for the first 50 hectares to cover the costs farmers incur when entering the scheme.
The payment will benefit all SFI farmers, but it will particularly benefit smaller farms (up to 50 hectares). SFI is already paying farmers to improve soil and moorlands, and an expanded set of standards for 2023 will be published shortly.
This is one of a series of actions we’ve taken to help farmers face challenges in the current economic climate, including increasing the frequency of Basic Payment Scheme payments to help with cashflow and introducing measures to help limit fertiliser costs this year.
There is something available for everyone in our package of environmental land management schemes and one-off grants. We would encourage all farmers to look closely at what’s on offer so they can find what works best for their business.
For more information, please read our press notice.