The Sustainable Farming Incentive is now open for applications in England.

Interestingly, Defra's press release updates the emphasis of the scheme to ensuring long-term food security by investing in the foundations of food production: healthy soil, water, and biodiverse ecosystems.  Environmental considerations have not been removed; rather the focus is now on the environment as a means of underpinning future food security. 

Defra are encouraging applications at any time, stressing accessibility and flexibility in the scheme.

Options now available include two soil standards recognising the importance of healthy soil for successful farming and the environment, and a Moorland standard where Defra will pay farmers to assess the condition of the Moorland as a basis for further action in future through existing and new schemes.  Defra expect the full set of standards to be in place by 2025.

Full guidance on the Sustainable Farming Incentive is now available at Sustainable Farming Incentive guidance - GOV.UK (