Published today, the Environmental Improvement Plan sets out the actions we must take to help us restore nature, tackle environmental pollution, and increase the prosperity of our country. In this post, I’ll explain what the Environmental Improvement Plan means in the context of our work and, by extension, what this means for farmers and land managers in England. I’ll also share an update on the Farming in Protected Landscapes programme.
Payments to improve soil health
The Sustainable Farming Incentive (SFI) is now open for applications via the Rural Payments service. Through the SFI, farmers will be paid for looking after the natural environment in the course of their farming. This initial offer will pay farmers for taking care of their soil or assessing the condition of moorland. In this post, we'll share more about the application process.
As a farmer, I am only too aware of the financial pressures which force farmers to make short-term decisions to address an immediate need. This isn’t always ideal for the environment and the sustainability of farming in the longer term. The marketplace is very good at driving the efficient production of high-quality grain, meat, milk and vegetables for today and tomorrow, but less so at rewarding high water quality, great soil or increasing the numbers of birds and insects over time. In this post, I’ll explain how the Sustainable Farming Incentive will start to redress the balance and how it will reward farmers for delivering environmental benefits as well as efficient food production.
We plan to launch the Sustainable Farming Incentive in June. Today we can share the final standards and payment rates, our approach to the applications process and how to prepare, In this post, I’ll provide an overview and share links to further information on GOV.UK. I’ll also explain how farmers have directly shaped the scheme through the Sustainable Farming Incentive pilot, tests and trials, engagement sessions, co-design activity and discussions.
Today we published further information on the Sustainable Farming Incentive. You can find it, in full, on GOV.UK. In this post, I’ll share a summary of the things that are new, the things we’ve changed following feedback and what you can expect in 2022.