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Sustainable Farming Incentive - 2022 Roll out -Improved Grassland Soils Standard



For 2022, two tiers of this standard are available:

Introductory @ £28/ha

Intermediate @58/ha

An advanced level will be made available in 2023.


To be eligible for this standard the land use on your RPA mapping must be either TG01(temporary grassland) or PG01(permanent grassland).


To qualify as improved grassland, the land will have been managed as follows (not all have to apply):

  • Regularly re-seeded or re-seeded within the last 15 years

  • Annually fertilised with at least 100kg/ha of nitrogen from either artificial fertilisers or manures and slurries.

  • Treated with herbicide to control weeds

  • Have maintained field drainage

  • Crops of forage taken at least once a year (can be hay, haylage or silage)

Improved grassland crops usually have high coverage of ryegrass and/or clover.


Temporary grassland can also be included in the arable and horticultural soils standard.


To meet the introductory standard here, you must:

  1. Complete a soil assessment and produce a soil management plan

  2. Test soil organic matter of all fields entered into the standard

  3. Minimise bare ground by not allowing more than 5% of the land entered into the standard left bare over the winter


In addition to this to achieve the Intermediate standard you must:

4. Establish and maintain herbal lays on at least 15% of the land in this level


1. How to complete a soil assessment and compete a soil management plan:

  • This must be produced within the first 12 months of the agreement

  • The soil management plan must then be reviewed on an annual basis – adding any further soil analysis results

  • This can be done as you please or following guidance set out by the RPA

  • It is recommended that you assess soil type, texture, structure, biology, risks to your soil and identify any historic features, further information can be found on this at How to do the actions in the improved grassland soils standard - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

  • Data can be collated either on a map or in a spreadsheet, either digitally or on paper


2. Test soil organic matter

  • Must be carried our for all parcels within the last 5 years

  • If not previously carried out must do so within the first year of the agreement


3. Minimise bare ground by:

  • Preventing poaching

  • Ensuring early establishment of reseeded areas


4. Establishing herbal lays on 15% of land entered into option:

  • Ensuring a mix is selected suitable for your land type and local conditions

  • Herbal lays usually include 5 species of grass, 3 species of legumes and 5 species of herbs

If you would like any further information on the Sustainable Farming Incentive or would like some help with an application please do get in touch with Gemma on gemma@blackdownconsulting.co.uk or 07533340847


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