Benefits of Using Land App for Planning your SFI: A Case Study with RB Rural

As the new SFI model is rolled out, and applications can be submitted via the RPA digital portal, more and more people across the sector are turning to digital mapping to understand their land and design a future plan before application.

At Land App, we ensure our users can do exactly this. This week, we caught up with advisor and surveyor Rob Browne, Managing Partner of RB Rural LLP,  to discuss why Land App is his go-to software when preparing for SFI and agri-environment scheme applications… 

Sustainable Farming Incentive (SFI)

This year, the Sustainable Farming Incentive (SFI) is expanding the actions available, making it more in-line with the Countryside Stewardship scheme. Comprising 102 options, 50 of which are simplified and streamlined from the Mid Tier Stewardship offer, the new SFI 2024 offer will be available from July 2024, with the hope of improving resilience, biodiversity and the environment, all whilst enhancing food production.

However, with so many options and schemes available at the moment, it can often be overwhelming to work out which is the best scheme for your land, let alone how to plan one once decided.

“with so many schemes and grants available at present, clients and farmers that I meet find it challenging to bring together the opportunities into the context of their farm and to digest the vast amounts of guidance”.

Rob Browne

Applying via the RPA online might be a useful upgrade, but getting your pre-application plan, design and funding in order is where the real challenge lies. 

An ancient tree in a nature-rich landscape

Breaking down this complexity is where Land App excels, according to Rob,

“I have used Land App consistently in all client and farmer meetings since the introduction of the SFI scheme to help simplify things and make it more digestible, with a view to getting to a draft scheme ready for application to the Rural Payments Agency (RPA)”.

Gaining a deeper context of your land, in order to understand what could be funded and where is made so much easier by the SFI and Stewardship templates

Benefits of Land App 

So why does Land App work so well for these schemes? In part, Rob tells me, it’s because “the mapping system is extremely intuitive”. Whether it is being able to import land parcels from a client’s Single Business Identifier (SBI), or “the ability to check for designations on the screen and visualise the farm” when designing an SFI, Land App’s functionality is “amazing”.

Collaboration is also a key appeal. Being able to collaborate with other users – especially clients – using the secure, live collaboration feature, makes the work so much more efficient and streamlined. “We can often manage to create a scheme in a meeting on my laptop and can immediately gauge a likely scheme payment from the tables generated from the template. What’s more, I can share my plans with clients securely and we can work together on changes ready to make a submission through the RPA portal.”

A crop of Rapeseed in a farmed landscape

Ultimately, Rob says, “Land App is now a first point of call for me as it is quick to use, allows efficient decision making, and helps me to see what can be achieved. The system makes me perform more efficiently and also allows clients to build trust in what I do.”

“There are many aspects to the Land App which make it an essential tool to my business including the comprehensive mapping layers and capabilities, the accuracy and reliability of the mapping data, and support from the Land App customer services team. I love how the data layers and capabilities are continually evolving and demonstrated through webinars and YouTube videos, allowing me to improve my own ability and client service”

Rob Browne (MRICS FAAV MBIAC MBEAR) is an agribusiness advisor and rural chartered surveyor representing a diverse range of farming businesses and estates in Staffordshire, Cheshire, Derbyshire, and surrounding counties. Rob has been a Professional Land App subscriber for 5 years, and has “always marvelled at the user-friendliness and efficiency of the templates”. 

To get started on your SFI application today, sign up for your free account here.

Interested in our Subscription Tiers or signing up as an organisation? See our pricing page, or get in touch with our team at 


Growing up on a regenerative small holding, the relationship between food systems and the natural world has long been an interest of mine. Focusing on land-use tensions and geo-politics at Oxford, and now an MSc in Sustainable Development with Exeter, my interests lie in how we can leverage policy and natural capital principles to encourage not only regenerative land management and food systems alongside investment in nature recovery, but ultimately how we can ensure social equity and systems resilience. I’m drawn to the social elements of nature recovery and climate change adaptation, in particular the intersection of geopolitics, biodiversity economics and justice.
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