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.

ELM will consist of three new schemes:

  • Sustainable Farming Incentive
  • Local Nature Recovery
  • Landscape Recovery

Farmers will be able to enter into agreements to receive payments for the delivery of environmental and sustainable farming measures. These initiatives will be rolled out gradually, with the Sustainable Farming Incentive becoming available in Spring 2022. Both the Local Nature Recovery and Landscape Recovery are set to launch in 2024.

Sustainable Farming Incentive (SFI)

The SFI will start to replace your Basic Payment Scheme income and will consist of a set of standards, with each one based on a particular feature like soils, woodland or grassland. Each standard will contain a group of actions to comply with.

Standards will become available gradually, with the Arable and Horticultural Soils standard set to launch first, in spring 2022.

Sustainable Farming Incentive standards

Type of Standard Introductory payment Intermediate Payment Advanced payment
Arable and horticultural land


£54/ha  £74/ha
Arable and horticultural soils


£41/ha £60/ha
Farm woodland


- -


£21/100m £24/100m
Improved grassland


£62/ha £97/ha
Improved grassland soils


£44/ha £70/ha
Low and no input grassland


£89/ha £110/ha
Waterbody buffering


£29/ha £34/ha

The table below sets out how this particular standard will work:

An example standard - Arable and Horticultural Soils

Level Payment per hectare (ha) Actions
Introductory £26 Complete a basic soil assessment
Establish green cover over winter (5% area)
Increase soil organic matter (10% area)
Intermediate £41 Complete a basic soil assessment
Establish green cover over winter (10% area)
Increase soil organic matter (15% area)
Use no, low or min tillage techniques (25% area)
Advanced £60 Complete a basic soil assessment
Create a soil management plan
Establish green cover over winter (15% area)
Increase soil organic matter (20% area)
Use no, low or min tillage techniques (25% area)


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, is expected to become available in Autumn 2021 and will help deliver investment in equipment, technology and farm infrastructure to improve productivity.

The Farming Investment Fund will have an emphasis on encouraging environmentally sustainable agriculture, similar to the Countryside Productivity scheme, and will have 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?

Contact us for a free discussion.

Request call back

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