Deadline for confirming Defra grants approaching

Producers who have successfully applied for Defra Countryside Productivity Small Grants have until November 10 to accept their offers.

A total of £22 million has been awarded to 3,677 farmers to spend on farm equipment under the second round of the scheme. Farmers have been applying for grants of between £3,000 and £12,000 to invest in new and innovative equipment.

Producers who have received offers now have a deadline of midnight, November 10 to accept them, ahead of ordering their items from suppliers.

The Rural Payments Agency (RPA) has written to the successful applicants explaining what they need to do. The agency is encouraging farmers to speak to their suppliers to confirm the items they wish to order are available before accepting their grant by using the acceptance portal on GOV.UK by the deadline.

Farmers are encouraged to make early orders to leave time for deliveries to arrive and payment claims to be processed by the end of May 2020.

This round included a number of pig-specific options, including: fixed handling systems for pigs (indoor and outdoor), electronic pig weighing and sorting systems, weigh bars, piglet creeps, monitoring cameras and ammonia analysers, a new item that can be used to check the levels of ammonia in farm buildings.

Farming Minister George Eustice said: “Boosting farm productivity is hugely important, and I’m delighted we’ve been able to fund all applications, supporting farmers to invest in game-changing technology.”

Rural Payments Agency Chief Executive Paul Caldwell said: “I would encourage all our customers to contact their suppliers early to ensure their items can be delivered ahead of the claim deadline.”

A total of £37 million has been allocated to farmers in the scheme’s first two funding rounds, with a third and final funding round to open in autumn 2020.

More information on the Countryside Productivity Small Grants scheme can be found here.

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About The Author

Editor of LBM titles Pig World and Farm Business and group editor of Agronomist and Arable Farmer. National Pig Association's webmaster. Previously political editor at Farmers Guardian for many years and also worked Farmers Weekly. Occasional farming media pundit. Brought up on a Leicestershire farm, now work from a shed in the garden in Oxfordshire. Big fan of Leicester City and Leicester Tigers. Occasional cricketer.