Farmers urged to apply for productivity grant

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£25 million has been made available in grants for productivity-boosting farming equipment in the third and final round of the Government’s Countryside Productivity Small Grants (CPSG) scheme.

Under the scheme, farmers can apply for grants of between £3k and £12k to buy new and innovative equipment – from livestock monitoring cameras to precision farming technology – which help businesses improve productivity.

Last year, new items were added to the list of the equipment available that will help farmers to benefit the environment, such as equipment designed to help minimise soil compaction in fields, monitor ammonia levels in farm buildings, and increase machinery precision when applying slurry.

In the south west last year, 904 eligible applications worth £5,550,170 were taken forward, with 354 applications coming from Devon and 253 from farmers in Cornwall.

Farmers who have been successful in applying for grants in previous rounds of the scheme will also be able to apply for different pieces of equipment within this final round up to the scheme’s limit of £12k per farmer, meaning that they can streamline other elements of their business or start the move towards farming more sustainably.

Farming Minister Victoria Prentis said: “Helping our farmers to boost their productivity is absolutely essential, and I’m delighted we’ve been able to make £25 million in grants available to farmers to invest in the latest technology.

“Coming from a farming family, I have experienced first-hand the benefits that having innovative equipment can bring, including saving businesses time and money while improving yields and minimising the impact we have on the environment around us.

“Our landmark Agriculture Bill sets out further measures to help farmers become more productive, efficient and resilient, with specific productivity grants expected to be available from 2021.”

Farmers will have until midday on November 4 to make an application to the Rural Payments Agency.