George Eustice issued a press release launching the pilot. See press release attached with link to the full scheme details. Key points:
Ø They are seeking expressions of interest from 15th March with a view to have several hundred participants in the pilot. This is a reduction in number from what was originally anticipated.
Ø They hope to have schemes operational from October this autumn.
Ø Agreement holders will be paid monthly in arrears for scheme revenue payments and for the participation payment. Capital payments will be made on a claim back basis.
Ø The participation payment is a contribution to the farmer’s time and effort in assisting DEFRA with this pilot study. It is expected a farmer would need to commit to 10-15 hours per month.
Ø There are lots of new concepts including the new standards within the pilot.
Ø The payment rates are similar to existing scheme payment rates. They should not be taken as an indication of future rates.
Ø BPS claimants are only eligible to apply for this if they have land parcels that are currently not in an environmental scheme (avoiding any risk of double funding).
- SFI 2022 – A more ambitious SFI will be launched for 2022