Bateman Hosegood Ltd


Update of the Agricultural Transition Plan

DEFRA have announced an update of the Agricultural Transition Plan, with a much welcomed focus on changes to CSS and SFI to incentivise more farmers to sign up to the agri-environmental scheme.

A simplified application process has been introduced via a streamlined single application service for both CSS Mid Tier and SFI applications. Once the scheme has been re-launched in the summer it will operate under a rolling application window, removing the tight deadlines and hopefully resulting in a smoother application process. Once submitted and approved, agreements will start on the 1st of the following month.

An average 10% increase in payment rates for both CSS and SFI will be introduced, alongside an increase in the number of actions on offer. Some of the new CSS payment rates include:

  • Winter Bird Food £732/ha increased to £853/ha
  • Flower Rich Grass Margins £673/ha increased to £798/ha
  • Species Rich Grassland Management £182/ha increased to £646/ha

DEFRA have also launched new options that will potentially benefit multiple farming sectors:

  • Management of ditches £4 per 100m
  • No Till Crop Establishment £73/ha

It is worth noting that Existing SFI 2023 agreement holders will be able to take advantage of the new actions by either adding them to their existing agreement at the anniversary or making a separate application to run alongside their current SFI.

If you would like any further advice on any of the rural grants and schemes please contact us.

Winter Newsletter

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Soil Testing – It’s not just for SFI

The Sustainable Farming Incentive and in particular the nutrient management option requires farmers to soil test regularly and this has prompted many to consider whether the cost of those tests is covered by the payment for that option.

However, many farmers and landowners do not realise that there is a legal requirement to test soil every five years on cultivated land under the Farming Rules for Water regulations and it is also a requirement of many farm assurance schemes and newer farm tenancies.

More importantly, is the fact that regular soil testing and an understanding of your nutrient levels can lead to improvements in crop production and financial savings through a more selective approach to nutrient applications. 

Farmers must also consider the significant benefits for the environment including improved water quality and this is something the agricultural sector needs to be proactive with given the public perception that as an industry we are a polluter.

As such many farmers might wish to rethink whether they sign up to a SFI scheme which in year one provides up to £1,000 towards the cost of setting up an agreement going a long way to covering the costs of soil testing which is required to ensure they are not in breach of the relevant farming regulations.

Bateman Hosegood are pleased to announce that Liz Warner has joined the team and specialises in providing NVZ & farm nutrient advice, carrying out SFI applications and undergoing soil testing services including an analysis of those results.  If you would like to contact us in order to discuss any of these services then please call the office on 01884 839980 and we will be only to pleased to help.