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New grants under Countryside Productivity Scheme support nutrient management

Last updated: 09 Jul 2019

Slurry spreading trailing shoe _52941

The second round of funding for Defra's Countryside Productivity Small Grants scheme has opened for applications today (9 July), with a total of £15m available.

Through the initiative, farm businesses can apply for grants of between £3,000 and £12,000 to help them invest in equipment that will help them achieve improvements in technical efficiency, animal health and welfare, resource efficiency or nutrient management.

Tried & Tested welcome the list of eligible equipment for Round 2, which includes 26 new items some of which are especially helpful for improving nutrient management.

These include;

  • a portable ammonia analyser, which can be used to check the levels of ammonia in farm buildings.
  • more efficient spreading equipment such as a trailing shoe spreader, dribble bar or shallow injection system
  • slurry flow rate monitors
  • variable rate controller for sprayers and fertiliser spreaders
  • Visual Image Analysis of Cow Body Condition Score Camera based system which automatically assesses body condition score linked to EID.
  • Pasture Plate Meter (trailed or handheld

A full list of the available equipment can be found in annex 3 of the handbook here.

Farmers and rural businesses have eight weeks to submit an application for this funding. Applicants for Round 1 funding can also submit a new application to receive funding in Round 2 as long as the total value of both applications is not more than £12,000. Successful applicants will need to provide photos 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.