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Farming podcast: Learning more about SFI in 2023 with the NFU

Posted by: and , Posted on: - Categories: Future Farming Podcast, Sustainable Farming Incentive

In this episode of Defra's Farming podcast, Jonathan Marsden, Head of Sustainable Farming Incentive (SFI) talks to Claire Robinson, Senior Countryside Adviser for the National Farmers Union (NFU).

The pair discuss what you need to know as a farmer to get ready for SFI this year.

Read the transcript.

Applying for an SFI agreement in 2023

Providing you and your land are eligible, anyone can apply for a Sustainable Farming Incentive (SFI) Agreement in 2023, including those with 2022 agreements.

We’re asking everyone who is interested in joining the scheme to register their interest first.

We’ll then invite them to make an application. We’re taking this approach to make sure everyone who wants to join the scheme has a smooth experience with the right level of support.

We started inviting people to register their interest in August and we are now inviting those who did to apply for an agreement.

There is no upper limit on the number of agreements we’ll issue this year, so if you haven't already, register your interest in SFI.

In recognition of the challenges faced with inflation and rising input costs, we can confirm that farmers who have a live 2023 agreement before the end of the year will receive their first quarterly payment – worth 25% of the annual value of their agreement – by the end of this year.

Farmers representing a diverse range of farm types across the country have already registered their interest.

Before you join SFI, there are some steps you’ll need to take to get ready.

1. Read the official scheme guidance.  

The SFI Handbook for the 2023 offer sets out the official guidance in a single PDF document

The official guidance is also presented in individual, accessible webpages on GOV.UK

2. Check that you’re eligible to apply.

3. Check that your land is eligible.  

4. Check the registered details on your digital maps are up to date. Requesting updates before you apply will make it easier when you fill in your application. It takes time for changes to be actioned so it’s best to request them as early as you can. 

5. Check your contact details are up to date and your permissions are correctly set for SFI in the Rural Payments service. 

Learn more

In addition to updates from the SFI team, you’ll find all the resources you need to prepare in this post on the Sustainable Farming Incentive in 2023.

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