Know How / ELM

The Environmental Land Management (ELM) scheme will replace basic payments to farmers in England. The scheme will provide payments for farming that improves the environment and mitigates climate change, such as hedge planting and river management.

We explain the details as they emerge to help farmers understand how they will qualify for payments under the scheme.

Advice and tips


How to maximise SFI herbal leys in arable rotations

About 175,000ha of SAM3 herbal leys are due to be grown in Sustainable Farming Incentive 2023 (SFI23) schemes, according to the figures released by Defra for agreements reached by the…


SFI 2023: The support options for arable growers

Arable growers are being encouraged to enter the new 2023 Sustainable Farming Incentive (SFI) for England as it is simpler and more flexible than previous financial support packages. The new…


How to introduce SFI 2023's no insecticide option

After another delay, applications for the Sustainable Farming Incentive (SFI) 2023 are due to finally open in mid-September, with the new no use of insecticide action being one of the…


Farm business challenges highlighted by free advice scheme

We asked two firms offering free farm business advice through the Future Farm Resilience Fund (FFRF) for some of the common themes emerging from their discussions with farmers. The issues…

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Case studies


Why simple herbal ley mix benefits Durham mixed farm

Government clarification that growing one herb, one legume, and one grass together qualifies as a herbal ley under the Sustainable Farming Incentive is grist to the mill of a County…


How nature focus helps profits rise on east Kent farm

A switch to nature-friendly farming is boosting profitability on one east Kent farm, with inputs slashed, soils improved and price premiums gained as grain yields are held at high levels.…


How a regen farm is reducing inputs to meet SFI targets

The drive to reduce the use of artificial inputs is under way at Raby Farms in County Durham, with the business recognising the economic and environmental benefits of being less…


2023 SFI to regain lost third of BPS for Warwickshire grower

Paul Wilson is hoping to secure one-third of the money he received from an old area-based subsidy scheme as he puts the finishing touches to a new farm environmental plan…

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Expanded SFI 2024 offer: What it means for arable farmers

The new expanded Sustainable Farming Incentive (SFI) for 2024 brings together the existing SFI 2023 offer, amended Mid-Tier Countryside Stewardship (CS) options and some new actions, moving it closer to…


How to succeed with the AHL2 winter bird food option in SFI

Filling the hungry gap for smaller farmland birds from late autumn through to late winter by providing a supply of small seeds on arable and horticultural land is the relatively…


Budget measures open some tax doors but close others

Confirmation in the 6 March Budget that agricultural property relief from inheritance tax will be available on land in all Environmental Land Management (ELM) schemes has been generally welcomed, but…


SFI 2024: What farmers need to know

Defra secretary Steve Barclay has announced what he claims to be the biggest upgrade to UK farming schemes since Brexit. The Sustainable Farming Incentive (SFI), the first component of Environmental…

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New SFI offer: Farmers advised to apply ‘positive mindset’

Farmers and landowners in England are being encouraged to apply a positive mindset when considering applying for the new Sustainable Farming Incentive offer and how it fits in best with…


New, streamlined SFI 2024 scheme set for early June rollout

A controlled rollout of the 2024 Sustainable Farming Inventive (SFI) will commence in early June, with farmers in England invited to submit “expressions of interest” to the Rural Payments Agency…


Defra offers flexibility on 'green scheme' requirements

Farmers in England who are signed up to various agri-environment schemes are being offered temporary derogations from the normal compliance rules where wet weather and flooding has stopped them from…


Growing SFI uptake with almost 14,000 agreements in place

More farmers in England have signed up to environmental schemes, with 13,900 Sustainable Farming Incentive (SFI) 2023 agreements now in place. This figure represents a significant increase on the number…

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Video: Trade and food security top concerns for Lib Dems

The Liberal Democrats have passed a wide-ranging motion pledging better support for British farmers to produce food more sustainably, protect the environment and uphold their high standards in trade deals.…

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