Defra announces £60m of grant funding

Grants of up to £12,000 will be available to buy new farm equipment under a new £60m grants scheme announced today by Farming Minister George Eustice.

Under the Countryside Productivity Small Grant Scheme, farmers can apply online for a grant of between £3,000 and £12,000 towards the costs of farm equipment. However, with much of the focus on the dairy industry, the options are relatively limited for pig producers.

According to the NPA, funds could be available for fixed handling systems, electronic weighing facilities and creep heat pads, while elements related to slurry spreading could also be applicable.

More information on the grant scheme is available on Defra’s Countryside Productivity pages

Mr Eustice announced the funding at the Dairy Tech event held in Stoneleigh Park, in Warwickshire, on Wednesday. Many of the items eligible for funding are highly relevant to the dairy sector, but there is a range of innovative items from which the majority of farmers can find something they would want to apply for, he said.

He explained how the scheme has been designed with simplicity in mind, to save farmers valuable time.

Mr Eustice said: “The dairy industry is our largest agricultural sector and we want to make sure farmers can become more resilient, competitive and able to capitalise on the growing global interest in quality British produce as we leave the EU.

“By opening this small grants scheme, we hope more farmers will be able to access this equipment and embark on more innovative and ambitious projects.”

Last year, Defra opened a series of calls for larger grants through the Countryside Productivity scheme. Farmers can apply for grants of over £35,000 for a range of different projects, including for making more efficient use of resources, processing products, and other innovative projects.

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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.