Farming Minister George Eustice has announced a new £60 million grants scheme where farmers can bid for up to £12,000 towards the purchase of new farm equipment.
The items eligible for funding are of particular interest to the dairy sector as they include specialist foot trimming crushes and calving detectors, but there is a wide range of innovative items on offer that could appeal to the majority of farmers.
Farmers can apply online to the Countryside Productivity Small Grant Scheme, requesting a grant between £3,000 and £12,000 for up to 40 per cent of the cost of eligible farm equipment.
According to the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), eligible items could be used across all sectors of agriculture, including arable and horticultural producers.
The scheme is different to other countryside productivity schemes as an applicant can register online and the grants are issued to support investment for specific pieces of agricultural equipment.
Speaking at the Dairy Tech event earlier this month, Mr Eustice pointed out that the dairy industry is the UK’s largest agricultural sector, so the Government wants to “ensure that farmers can become more resilient, competitive and able to capitalise on the growing global interest in in quality British produce” as the UK leaves the European Union.
He added that he hoped the new small grants scheme will enable farmers to be able to access new equipment and embark on more innovative and ambitious projects. The scheme is now open to applications and closes on 14 March.