Sustainable farming (or sustainable agriculture) is a complex topic with many facets, put simply, it is “meeting society’s present food and textile needs, without compromising the ability for current or future generations to meet their needs” or creating agricultural environments that are “designed to promote endless regeneration”.


Key practices of sustainable farming include:


  • The implementation of biological and ecological processes, including nutrient cycling, soil regeneration, and nitrogen fixation into agricultural and food production practices.
  • Reducing and eliminating the use of non-renewable and unsustainable methods, particularly those that are environmentally harmful.
  • Utilising farmers’ expertise to productively work the land in addition to promoting the self-reliance and self-sufficiency of the farming community.
  • Bringing together people with specific skills to collaboratively solve agricultural and natural resource problems such as pest management and irrigation.


UK Sustainable Farming Incentive

The Sustainable Farming Incentive is part of three new schemes that will be implemented simultaneously across the UK from 2022, including the Local Nature Recovery and Landscape Recovery schemes. It is an environmental land management scheme, designed to attract a wide range of farmers, that will reward them for adopting more sustainable farming approaches to improve:


  1. Implementation of sustainable farming practices
  2. Environmental outcomes of farming
  3. Overall animal health and welfare
  4. Reduction of carbon emissions


Funded by a reduction in BPS (basic payment scheme) payments from 2021 to 2027, collectively the schemes will create habitats for nature recovery and make landscape scale changes, from establishing new woodland and other ecosystems services to delivering critical methods of sustainable farming that will contribute to the 25 Year Environment Plan goals and the 2050 net zero target.


From Spring 2022 the scheme will be open to any farmers that are eligible for the BPS. The standards that can be attained include two Soils Standards, a Moorland and Rough Grazing Standard, and an Annual Health and Welfare Review. Visit the DEFRA farming blog for full details of the 2022 Sustainable Farming Incentive roll out.


At Nicholson we are dedicated to delivering quality farming equipment that meets the specific needs of each customer, with innovation and crop care at the forefront of everything we do. Our ongoing commitment into new product development allows us to explore new manufacturing processes and new materials, and create new solutions that contribute to the wider goal of lowering our carbon footprint.