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The Government has announced a further increase of Countryside Stewardship revenue option and capital items payment rates with effect from 1st January 2023 for all new and existing Mid Tier and Higher Tier Countryside Stewardship agreements. 

On average, there will be a 10% increase in revenue rates implemented to reflect increasing prices across agricultural markets and also to ensure that the costs of running the schemes are covered. Capital payments for one off-projects, such as hedgerow creation or concrete yard renewals, will increase, on average, by 48%. 

The Government has also announced the introduction of a new Sustainable Farming Incentive (SFI) Management payment of £20 per hectare, for up to 50 hectares of land entered into the scheme to cover the administrative costs of participation. This new management payment will mean that farmers could receive up to £1,000 per year in addition to their agreement payments in a bid to incentivise uptake into the scheme. This payment will apply to not only new schemes but also those already in the SFI scheme, so as not to disadvantage early adopters. 

In the coming weeks, the Government will launch new standards under SFI, widening the scope of the scheme so that more farmers can benefit. Applications for an SFI agreement can be made at any time during the year rather than a specified application window.

The application window for new Countryside Stewardship will be opening shortly for both Mid Tier and Higher Tier applications and so if you think Countryside Stewardship or the Sustainable Farming Incentive could be for you, please contact Ella Redrup or Lucy Turner in Masons Rural team on 01507 350500 Option 3 to discuss how to get the most out of these schemes on your farm.