Will apply to agreements starting 1st January 2023 onwards

Farmers with Countryside Stewardship agreements starting from 1 January 2023 will now benefit from the 48% increase in Capital Payment Rates announced at the Oxford Farming Conference.  Originally, the new rates applied only to new agreements from 5 January excluding farmers who had applied for Stewardship last year whose agreements started on 1st January 2023.  Following lobbying, DEFRA has now stated that:

“Changes to payment rates for capital items will now be applied to all CS and SFI [Sustainable Farming Incentive] pilot capital grant agreements, which began on and after 1 January 2023, in addition to all applications for capital offers that we receive from January 2023 onwards.” …..  “This widens the number of customers eligible to receive the higher payment rates by nearly 5,000.”

However, the uplift in capital payments will not apply to those whose agreements started before 1st Jan 2023.  We are hearing that the claim form includes the new payment rates and this is creating confusion and upset for farmers with older agreements when they submit claims.