Area limits on some SFI options

Area limits on some SFI options

DEFRA has been monitoring the impact of the actions in the current SFI offer which take land out of food production and has concluded that 1% of farmers who applied for SFI in 2023 entered 80% or more of their farm into options that involved taking land out of food production. As a result, DEFRA has imposed an area limit on six options which it says were designed to be carried out on smaller areas within fields.

The six options which are now limited are as follows:

• Take improved grassland field corners or blocks out of management – IGL1
• Winter bird food on improved grassland – IGL2
• Pollen and nectar flower mix – AHL1
• Winter bird food on arable and horticultural land – AHL2
• Grassy field corners and blocks - AHL3
• Flower-rich grass margins, blocks, or in-field strips – IPM2

The RPA will no longer accept applications where the total land entered into any combination of the six options exceeds 25% of a farm’s total area.

The new limits do not apply to:

• SFI applications that have already been submitted.
• SFI agreements that have already been offered to applicants.
• existing SFI agreements.

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