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Andrew Granger & Co's rural team tell you everything you need to know about the current government funding available for farmers

Fri 2 June 2023

2023 – the year that the transition period from EU policy to UK agricultural policy accelerates. Is your farming business ready? 

Andrew Granger & Co's rural team tell you everything you need to know about the current government funding for farmers.

Basic Payment Scheme

2023 is the last year of The Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) as we know it, it will be the final year that a detailed claim must be submitted to the Rural Payments Agency (RPA). In 2024 the entitlements are becoming delinked meaning rather than your claim payment being linked to the area of land being farmed in that year it is based on your average claim between 2020-2022, with the percentage reductions applied until 2027 when the subsidy will end.

Cross compliance, currently the regulation linked with BPS will also become non-existent, so we await new details on a regulatory baseline.

DEFRA are continuing to develop strands of the new Environmental Land Management Schemes with the full scheme still planned to be available in 2024. So, what is on offer now?

Sustainable Farming Incentive (SFI)

These are agreements lasting for three years with the flexibility to apply for further standards as and when they are rolled out. The following standards have already been rolled out and you can apply for these at any time:

  • arable and horticulture soils standard
  • improved grassland soils standard
  • moorland standard

There are 6 new standards being introduced in 2023:

  • nutrient management standard
  • integrated pest management standard
  • hedgerows standard
  • arable and horticultural land standard
  • improved grassland standard
  • low/no input grassland standard

More detail and application windows are yet to be released although it is thought this will be summer 2023.

If you have an existing countryside stewardship agreement, you are still able to apply for SFI and we can provide advice on the interaction of the two agreements. 

Countryside Stewardship

The Countryside Stewardship (CS) offer remains largely unchanged although will be via online applications this year. The RPA have now reviewed both the rates for revenue and capital options and new agreements will have an extended three years to carry out capital options instead of two years.

Countryside Stewardship is likely to remain and be adapted to become more flexible. There will be an enhanced countryside stewardship to promote collaboration between land managers.

Capital Funding

There are standalone capital grants available under CS. They are three-year agreements offering capital items to achieve specific environmental benefits within four groups:

  • boundaries, trees, and orchards (including the former hedgerows and boundaries grant items)
  • water quality
  • air quality
  • natural flood management

Andrew Granger & Co. successfully advise and act on behalf of clients in both application and management of all the above schemes. Please get in touch if you would like any help or advice on 01509 243720.