sheep at market© Tim Scrivener

The Welsh government has launched a new small grants scheme which offers funding to arable and livestock farmers looking to invest in new machinery or technology.

The Farm Business Grant Scheme, which opened on 2 May, is designed to help farmers in Wales improve the economic and environmental performance of their agricultural holdings through the application of more efficient technology.

The government has produced a list of about 70 machines or pieces of equipment which are eligible for grants of up to 40% of eligible costs.

See also: Guide to grants to help fund livestock and arable precision-farming kit

On the livestock side, the list includes items such as fixed and mobile handling systems, hand-held EID devices, cattle crushes, weighing machines, plate meters, slurry separators and trailing shoe slurry systems.

The list of items which may interest arable farmers includes mixed-flow or cross-flow grain drying systems, standalone GPS units, minimum tillage cultivation equipment and seed drills.

Grant details

The minimum grant available is £3,000 and the maximum is £12,000.

Applications for the first round of this new scheme must be submitted by 30 June 2017, but it has already been announced that there will be two further application windows in August 2017 and in February 2018.

A total of £40m is on offer over a four-year period. However, only one application will be approved per business through the lifetime of the scheme.

All businesses who apply for the scheme must first register their business with Farming Connect.

A partner in the business is also required to attend a Farming For the Future event organised by Farming Connect.

Only businesses with a turnover of less than £1m are eligible for the scheme.