As the long list of jobs slowly starts to dwindle, our attention turns to 2024. We are already receiving plenty of phone calls to discuss the options and possibilities of the new SFI scheme.
Farmers are keen to talk through which SFI options they should consider to suit their farming system and which seed mixtures are appropriate, making sure they comply with the criteria of the various options and deliver the aims.
We have seen interest in the NUM3 ‘Legume Fallow’ mixture as a potential popular arable option. Discussions range from leaving the mixture in for two full years, to others feeling a 15-16 month option sown in the spring and left in situ until the following autumn would be most useful, creating a good entry for winter wheat. Some farmers also see the benefit and flexibility of a shorter fallow window by sowing in spring 2024 with fast growing species like Berseem and Crimson Clover, then taking it out for autumn cash crop sowing in the same year.
Livestock based enterprises have shown more and more interest in the SAM3 ‘Herbal Ley’ option and NUM2 (introducing legumes into improved grassland) among other options.
There is certainly plenty to think about when signing up to the SFI scheme. As an example, within the SAM3 criteria there is the option to create a Herbal ley as a reseed from scratch or to overseed appropriate existing pasture. In these scenarios care should be taken to get the correct advice on which seed mix is appropriate, along with which species should be included to fully deliver the aims.
Take time to look at the SFI section of our website. It highlights which existing mixtures qualify for the various options and keep an eye open for additional SFI mixtures over the coming weeks. We aim to update the pricing for 2024 in the early New Year but as we always publish our mixture prices, this section should give you a reasonable idea of the various mixture costings for budgeting purposes.
Also bear in mind that we create bespoke mixes as a matter of course. This provides maximum flexibility, which may be very useful to get the most out of these SFI schemes.