Farm owners, apply now for countryside productivity grants

Today marks a new milestone in Defra’s Countryside Productivity Small Grants Scheme – the second round has opened for applications and there is £15m available to give away.

The round was expected to open earlier this year and industry leaders say the delay has been frustrating.

East Devon farms can now apply for a grant of between £3,000 and £12,000. The cash must be required for the purchase of equipment that will drive up efficiency, improve animal welfare or the environment, or aid nutrient management.

The list of eligible equipment has increased for round two of the scheme. Defra has included 26 additional items, including chlorophyll meters and a portable ammonia analyser, thanks to input from the National Farmers’ Union.

If you are interested in applying for a grant, act quickly. You have eight weeks to submit your bid.

Even if you were successful in round one, you can apply again – so long as the total of both requests is not more than the maximum grant of £12,000.

Successful applicants will need to provide photographic evidence of the items in use on their farm.

Farming Minister Robert Goodwill said: “The small grants scheme proved to be so popular in the first round because it gives farmers access to equipment that can deliver quick and tangible improvements.

“This isn’t just about increasing yields; 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.

“As we leave the EU we want more farmers to be able to invest in this kind of technology that can boost the bottom line and make a real difference.”

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

Apply for a grant here.

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