SFI and CS payments guidance


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New technical guide outlines how new payments compare to BPS rates for UK growers.

ORGANIC certification body Organic Farmers & Growers (OF&G) has published a technical guide outlining how the Sustainable Farming Incentive (SFI) and Countryside Stewardship (CS) payments can be combined to deliver increased payments of up to 50% to organic farmers when compared to historic BPS rates.

The financial benefits are highlighted in the new technical leaflet, which has been prepared by William Waterfield of the Farm Consultancy Group.

OF&G Chief Executive of the , Roger Kerr (pictured), said: "The data presents a robust argument to farmers considering converting to organic to take that positive step and full advantage of the new schemes." 

The study is calculated on two farm case studies (one predominantly arable, the other mostly livestock) of 210 hectares, the average size of organic farms certified by OF&G.

The technical leaflet shows the income comparison between old BPS and the combined CS and SFI payments. It reveals an increase from  £48,510 to £73,061 on the arable farm, which equates to a 50.6% increase.

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OF&G anticipates a significant divergence overall in the way English farms are managed following the roll out of Defra's environmentally-driven policies.

"There'll be many farmers both organic and non-organic who'll wholeheartedly embrace the new schemes and their approach, while others will reject the environmental principles and go all out for increased yield by foregoing the schemes," adds Mr Kerr. "Opting for the second route of increasingly intensive farming practices, which may produce higher yields in the short-term, will come at a huge environmental and societal cost and undermine the very basis of production and long-term food security.

"We must build back resilience in our farming systems and embrace the transformational change this policy seeks to encourage." 

The technical leaflet can be downloaded here.  Defra previously announced farmers can now apply for SFI payments.

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