DEFRA Secretary announces fresh SFI and CS payments, including for Precision Farming




Industry News

Last week the government unveiled 50 actions that farmers can complete to access extra payments across all types of farm businesses, with some actions focussing on precision agricultural practices for the first time.

Variable rate nutrient applications will pay farmers £27/ha; guided herbicide spraying will pay £43/ha and no-till farming earns £73/ha.

Other notable points from the announcement include:


  • Scheme rates will increase by 10% on average. Existing SFI or Countryside Stewardship agreements will have uplifts applied automatically.
  • 50 further actions will be launched in the summer, which will allow access to scheme funding for things like precision farming and agroforestry for the first time. The new actions improve the offer for all farm types, but especially those on moorland and grassland. 
  • Farmers will get paid more for existing actions to maintain habitats, with the price of maintaining species rich grassland rising from £182 to £646 per hectare.
  • More actions will be available for shorter 3-year agreements, allowing greater flexibility. 
  • Up to 5 multi-million-pound contracts, with an initial value of up to £15 million, will be awarded to promote crop innovation.
  • From summer, there will be a streamlined single application service for farmers to apply for SFI and CS Mid-Tier actions.
  • SFI agreement holders who entered into an agreement in 2023 will be able to either upgrade their existing agreement or apply for, and enter into, a separate 2024 agreement. 

Precision agricultural practices will be supported by extra government funding for the first time.

RHIZA services can help to support farmers looking to access these payments. Full soil scanning and sampling is available and can be organised with a local Crop Input Specialist immediately. 

Existing RHIZA customers will also be eligible to claim the SFI payment once the applications open later this year.

 If you aren’t already taking advantage of RHIZA precision / variable rate nutrition and seed services and wish to, please contact us at or call 03300 949150.