£15m grant pot to improve farm productivity

Grants of £3,000-£12,000 are on offer from today (9 July) to invest in new equipment and technology on farm.

A total of £15m is available to boost farm productivity in the second round of the popular Countryside Productivity Small Grants scheme.

The scheme focuses on equipment that will improve technical efficiency, animal health and welfare, resource efficiency, or nutrient management.

Grants are available for all farm types, including livestock, horticulture and arable businesses, with a total pot of £15m available to fund investments in new technology.

See also: Five successful Leader grant projects to inspire farmers

Many new items have been added to the list of equipment eligible for the funding, including chlorophyll meters and a portable analyser to check ammonia levels in farm buildings.

Farmers and rural businesses will have eight weeks to submit an application for this funding.

“This isn’t just about increasing yields,” said farming minister Robert Goodwill. “It’s also about using the best tools and equipment that can improve animal welfare and the environment, such as monitoring the levels of nitrogen in crops.

Defra is developing plans for a third £15m funding round in 2020, with details to be confirmed later this year to give potential applicants and suppliers time to prepare.

A list of items eligible for grants under this scheme is in the handbook at Gov.uk. You can find the application form online.

Countryside productivity small grants scheme

Grants can meet up to 40% of the eligible cost of an item, or up to 50% for farmers based in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.

Those who applied in the first funding round can also submit a new application to receive further funding in this round. The total value of their two applications must not exceed the £12,000 threshold.

Check your details on the Rural Payments service before applying, as they must exactly match with the details on your application form.

The current round is open between 9 July and midday on 3 September 2019.

Today’s announcement follows the first round of funding in 2018 when £15m was awarded to successful applicants.

Plans are under way for a further round of funding worth £15m in 2020.

Futures contracts: farmer views wanted

Do you use futures and options markets to help you manage risk? Or are you interested to learn more? Farmers Weekly is keen to find out the extent to which UK farmers use these markets. Complete our survey here.

Take the survey

Futures markets and commodity risk management online course:

  • Risk management strategies for a more predictable financial performance
  • Educated conversations when collaborating with your advisors
  • Negotiate better prices with your grain merchants

View course