Maximum grant amounts for farm equipment increased

Defra has released the latest guidance on what grant funding will be available through the Farming Equipment and Technology Fund (FETF), after prime minister Rishi Sunak announced at the NFU conference that a new round worth £70m is due to open shortly.

Farmers in England will be able to apply for grants of up to 60% of the total cost of purchasing an item.

Dozens of new items have been made eligible for funding by the Rural Payments Agency (RPA), including combine-mounted weed seed reduction systems, solar-powered water pumps, mobile slurry separators, and heat stress equipment.

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The funding options have been split into three key areas: improving productivity, slurry management, and animal health and welfare.

Farm businesses will be able to apply for one grant from each of the three sections.

Laurren March, RPA senior project manager, said: “We have increased the maximum grant amounts for productivity and slurry, so you can now apply for up to £50,000 for each of these themes.

“The maximum grant amount for animal health and welfare remains at £25,000.

“This means you could receive up to £125,000 in total, towards the purchase of new equipment and technology.”

This year there will be 85 items related to productivity equipment available through the scheme, 17 items related to slurry collection and spreading, and more than 130 animal health and welfare items.

However, applications are expected to be competitive as seen in previous rounds and, therefore, it is likely that not all applications will be accepted.

Mark Chatterton, director and head of agriculture at Duncan & Toplis, said specific grants for technology and productivity are welcome, with funding for automation likely to help farmers upgrade pack lines.