The Cheffins Rural Professionals team deal with grants and subsidies and provide strategic advice for farmers and landowners across the region to diversify, enhance and maximise the profits from their farm or estate.

Cheffins helps hundreds of clients each year with Basic Payment schemes, Countryside Stewardship Schemes, Rural Grant Funding and smaller, niche funding schemes. Cheffins has a close working relationship with Local Enterprise Partnerships, LEADER Groups and the Rural Payments Agency, ensuring that our clients can maximise all opportunities on offer. 

New agricultural policies are being developed under DEFRA’s Agricultural Transition Plan which place an enhanced focus on environmental outcomes, intended to support the rural economy while achieving the goals of the government’s 25 Year Environment Plan and commitment to net zero emissions by 2050.

These schemes can provide an important additional income for farm enterprises, and we are on hand to help your business adapt to these new support measures as they begin to evolve alongside existing DEFRA grants and subsidies.

Environmental Land Management scheme (ELM)

With environment and sustainability high up on the agenda, the government’s new flagship ELM scheme is designed to become the main mechanism through which agricultural support will be delivered once the Basic Payment Scheme is phased out.

Farmers will be able to enter into agreements to receive payments for the delivery of environmental and sustainable farming measures. These initiatives are being rolled out gradually, with the Sustainable Farming Incentive available now. 

Sustainable Farming Incentive (SFI)

The SFI will start to replace your Basic Payment Scheme income and consists of a set of standards, each one based on a particular feature. Each standard contains a group of actions to comply with.

In addition to the payments shown below, a Management Payment can be claimed for the first 50 hectares of the farm (£20/ha) entered into an SFI agreement, up to £1,000 per year.  

Sustainable Farming Incentive standards

Actions for soils

SAM1 Assess soil, test soil organic matter and produce a soil management plan £5.80 per hectare and an additional payment of £95 per agreement
SAM2 Multi-species winter cover crops £129 per hectare
SAM3 Herbal leys £382 per hectare 


Actions for hedgerows

HRW1 Assess and record hedgerow condition £3 per 100 metres - one side
HRW2 Manage hedgerows £10 per 100 metres - one side
HRW3 Maintain or establish hedgerow trees £10 per 100 metres - both sides


Actions for integrated pest management

IPM1 Assess integrated pest management and produce a plan (this action applies to an SFI agreement, rather than a specific area of land (an 'agreement level SFI action') £989 per year
IPM2 Flower-rich grass margins, blocks, or in-field strips £673 per hectare
IPM3 Companion crop on arable and horticultural land £55 per hectare
IPM4 No use of insecticide on arable crops and permanent crops £45 per hectare


Actions for nutrient management

NUM1 Assess nutrient management and produce a review report (agreement level SFI action) £589 per year
NUM2 Legumes on improved grassland £102 per hectare
NUM3 Legume fallow £593 per hectare


Actions for farmland wildlife on arable and horticultural land

AHL1 Pollen and nectar flower mix £614 per hectare
AHL2 Winter bird food on arable and horticultural land £732 per hectare
AHL3 Grassy field corners and blocks £590 per hectare


Actions for farmland wildlife on improved grassland

IGL1 Take improved grassland field corners or blocks out of management £333 per hectare
IGL2 Winter bird food on improved grassland £474 per hectare


Actions for buffer strips

AHL4 4m to 12m grass buffer strip on arable and horticultural land £451 per hectare
IGL3 4m to 12m grass buffer strip on improved grassland £235 per hectare


Actions for low input grassland

LIG1 Manage grassland with very low nutrient inputs (outside SDAs) £151 per hectare


Additional payments

Additional common land payment (*if a group of 2 or more people apply for an SFI agreement on common land) £6.15 per hectare*
SFI management payment (*up to the first 50 hectares entered into the relevant SFI actions, per SBI) £20 per hectare*


Specialist expertise

Our team can help you through the application process for the SFI, making sure it dovetails with your Basic Payment scheme and any agri-environment schemes already existing on the farm.

We can advise on soils assessments, soil management plans and the finer details of the actions you need to complete.

Farming Investment Fund

With the UK having now left the EU, DEFRA has pledged a new raft of grants to support farm businesses. The first of these, the Farming Investment Fund, has been made available to help deliver investment in equipment, technology and farm infrastructure to improve productivity.

The Farming Investment Fund has an emphasis on encouraging environmentally sustainable agriculture, similar to the Countryside Productivity scheme, and has two distinct strands:

  • Farming Equipment and Technology Fund – investment in small pieces of equipment and machinery with a simple, online application process.
  • Farming Transformation Fund – grant funding towards the cost of more substantial investments in farm equipment, technology and infrastructure with a two-stage, competitive application process.

Please contact Katie Hilton on 01223 271959 if you wish to access this funding.

Need further advice?

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Our experts
Katie Hilton BSc (Hons) MBIAC
Rural Professionals
Edward Tabner MRICS FAAV
Rural Professionals