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https://defrafarming.blog.gov.uk/2023/02/09/new-round-of-farming-equipment-and-technology-fund-grants-opening-soon/

New round of Farming Equipment and Technology Fund grants opening soon  

English rural landscape in with grazing Holstein Friesian cattle
English rural landscape with grazing Holstein Friesian cattle

The Farming Equipment and Technology Fund  is part of the Farming Investment Fund.  

It offers grants for specific items of equipment to increase productivity, boost environmental sustainability and improve animal health and welfare. 

Farmers, foresters and growers in England, including contractors to these sectors, can apply for a grant between £1,000 and £25,000. Grants go towards the cost of specific items from a prescribed list. 

After a successful first round, the fund will open again later this month.  

Today, we published the full list of items available through the fund. In this post, I’ll explain what is available, when you can apply for a grant and provide links for you to find out more. 

Grants guidance 

The Farming Equipment and Technology Fund 2023 is split into 2 themes:

  • Productivity and Slurry (open later this month)
  • Animal Health and Welfare (available in March)

Through feedback, you told us that having early sight of guidance helps you to better prepare your applications.   

So, today we published detailed guidance on GOV.UK. Lists of items can be found for both grants.

Productivity and Slurry grant

  • The items in this list improve agricultural sustainability and horticultural and forestry productivity, helping farmers use less inputs, reduce emissions and cut waste.

Animal Health and Welfare grant

  • The items in this list offer improvements in the health and welfare of livestock, potentially helping farmers improve biosecurity or decrease environmental stress.

Each item has a score assigned to it based on our assessment of how well it meets the objectives of the scheme.  

If the scheme is oversubscribed, we will allocate funding to those items with the highest score first.   

Expanding the list of items 

We reviewed the list of items available in the first round with farmers, vets, academics and industry groups.  

As a result, we added: 

  • 19 items to aid productivity 
  • 2 items to help with better slurry management  
  • 66 items to support animal health and welfare 

The grants to co-fund investment in equipment, technology and infrastructure that improve animal health and welfare is part of the Animal Health and Welfare Pathway. We will publish more information on this very soon.

Standard costs across all items have been also reviewed and grant rates adjusted accordingly. 

Applying for a grant 

In the first round, those who applied for a grant received approximately 44% of the total cost. The fund proved very popular, and the first round was significantly oversubscribed. 

We encourage anyone who was unsuccessful in the first round to apply again. 

There are 2 separate ‘portals’ to apply for each grant: one for Productivity & Slurry, and one for Animal Health and Welfare. 

When the window to apply opens, simply visit the online portal and answer questions for the types of grants you are applying for.  

A clear grant value is assigned to each item.  

The minimum grant is £1,000 per portal so the minimum investment for those wishing to apply across both portals remains as it did in the first round. 

If your application is successful, you can then buy the item. You will be able to claim the reimbursement using your receipt. 

Stay informed

On Tuesday 28 February at 2pm, we will host a webinar for you to find out more. There will also be an opportunity for you to put questions to us. Register to attend.

We'll publish updates here on the blog, so do subscribe for the latest. I'll share the link to subscribe in the box below.

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23 comments

  1. Comment by Jonny posted on

    Who comes up with these average prices?! A 6m Direct Drill ranges from £50,000 - £150,000? Yet the total average being paid out on FETF45 6M Direct drill is 46,800? I think the aim of the scheme is to grant fund 40% which at current levels wouldn’t grant fund 20% of a 6m drill… this is just an example as most of items are completely under priced too meaning the pay out is no where near 40% funding…

    Reply
    • Replies to Jonny>

      Comment by The Team posted on

      Hi Jonny,

      Standard costs across all items have been reviewed using data from round one of FETF - and grant rates adjusted accordingly. The expected average cost for the 6m direct drill was set at £46,800 based on the review of approximately 310 invoices submitted during round one. Based on an intervention rate of 40% the grant amount for this item has now been set at £18,720.

      We hope this helps.
      Best wishes,
      The Team

      Reply
  2. Comment by William Morgan posted on

    Please supply a copy of the research carried out to arrive at the additional equipment items? Or do you require an FOI application?

    Reply
    • Replies to William Morgan>

      Comment by The Team posted on

      Hi William,

      Thanks for your question. We review the items on the list between rounds with a commitment to both add and remove items where appropriate. In reviewing the list of items ahead of FETF 2023, farmers and other stakeholders were surveyed. This allowed them to suggest new items, those they were happy to see removed as well as amendments to existing items. The Qualtrics survey for Productivity and Slurry items was issued on 14 March 2021 and remained open for one month.

      Animal Health and Welfare surveys ran from January to April 2021, and were followed by extensive engagement with farmers, vets and academics to prioritise items based on their contribution to the published Animal Health and Welfare Pathway priorities.

      Duplicate suggestions across both surveys were removed with items checked to see if they met the scheme requirements – for example items need to be available from at least two manufacturers “off the shelf” with ideally short manufacture and delivery periods.

      Defra and co-design panels ranked the items according to scoring criteria previously agreed in collaboration with stakeholders. For the Productivity and Slurry list, items were prioritised based on three broad categories: their contribution to productivity, environmental sustainability, and the level of perceived adoption within the industry. Animal Health and Welfare items were prioritised primarily according to their health and welfare benefit, with consideration given to productivity, environmental sustainability and degree of innovation.

      Following this, a finalised list was produced and circulated among key stakeholders for review. This was then passed to the RPA for them to draft specifications for all new items, following which an external contractor was engaged to establish standard cost for individual items.

      Those items put forward and not included for FETF 2023 will be retained and considered as part of any future review. 

      We hope this clarifies,
      The Team

      Reply
      • Replies to The Team>

        Comment by William Morgan posted on

        "Animal Health and Welfare surveys ran from January to April 2021,"
        Please list these and their response regarding ventilation.
        "Animal Health and Welfare items were prioritised primarily according to their health and welfare benefit, with consideration given to productivity, environmental sustainability and degree of innovation."
        What score was given to the use of recirculation fans over the bed space?

        Reply
  3. Comment by Bob Milton posted on

    Where is the link for an application form

    Reply
  4. Comment by Helen Griffiths posted on

    Would an aerator roller be covered by this grant?

    Reply
    • Replies to Helen Griffiths>

      Comment by The Team posted on

      Hi Helen,

      Thank you for your query. The items that we fund are set out in Annex 3 of the grant guidance here: Annex 3: FETF 2023 Productivity and Slurry eligible Items - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

      If you need further help, please do email fetfenquiries@rpa.gov.uk who will be able to respond to specific questions.

      Best wishes,
      The Team

      Reply
  5. Comment by J Bassett posted on

    Is there a deadline for Annex 4 capital items for the Animal Health an d Welfare Pathway it is not clear. It states when claims have to be made for but not the initial application. There is confusion as it appears part of the FETF which has the deadline of the 4/4/23 if this is the case for Annex 4 many who are starting the process of engaging with the AH&W Pathway will not have access to capital grants with that timeline. More clartiy is needed on your website and blog

    Reply
    • Replies to J Bassett>

      Comment by Sarah Stewart posted on

      Hello,

      Thank you for your question. There are two themes for FETF 2023 – one for Productivity and Slurry items, and one for Animal Health and Welfare items.

      The themes have different application windows and timelines. The application portal for Productivity and Slurry items is already open and you are able to apply up until midday on 4 April 2023.

      The application portal for Animal Health and Welfare items is expected to open this month. Opening and closing dates for the Animal Health and Welfare portal will be announced via the blog as soon as possible so please subscribe to keep updated: https://defrafarming.blog.gov.uk/subscribe

      Best wishes,
      Sarah

      Reply
  6. Comment by Ieuan Jones posted on

    Hi is there any grants for an e-bike as I was thinking of getting one to go around checking my livestock rather than using the quad many thanks

    Reply
    • Replies to Ieuan Jones>

      Comment by The Team posted on

      Hello Ieuan,

      Unfortunately not. However, it might be worth visiting the Energy Saving Trust which has provided similar grants in conjunction with the Department for Transport in the past.

      Best wishes,
      The Team

      Reply
  7. Comment by Dan Jones posted on

    Hi, where would I find information to clarify if an item meets the spec listed in the annex, different retailers tell you different answers, eg for fetf78 does any with Bluetooth meet spec or does it need software to work with gates as the annex suggest, also for fetf59 does the crush have to be portable with a rubber floor or can it be a fixed crush with concrete as the floor and post in concrete,

    Reply
  8. Comment by George Munns posted on

    FETF47 - Assisted steer system (retro fitted for older tractors) 1 1,051
    Hi,
    Please could you tell me if the above grant is available for systems fitted to older self propelled sprayers?
    In the available literature it only say older tractors. It seems logical that sprayers are included, however they are not specified.
    Thank you
    George

    Reply
  9. Comment by Adam Beaty posted on

    Hi

    I applied back in April for FETF56 but haven't heard anything. When should I hear?

    Thanks

    Adam

    Reply
    • Replies to Adam Beaty>

      Comment by Sarah Stewart posted on

      Hi Adam,

      Thanks for getting in touch. I checked with the team who said that the Rural Payments Agency aim to issue Grant Funding Agreements as quickly as possible following the closure of an application window, usually this is around 4-6 weeks after the window closes. The window to apply for Animal Health and Welfare FETF grants closed on the 15th of June, so you should expect to hear in mid-July.

      Best wishes,
      Sarah

      Reply
  10. Comment by RJ Pedley posted on

    Good evening,

    I'm currently looking for a slot seeder/over seeder for a lot of our grassland pastures and meadows.
    Why is there no option on a smaller 2.5m wide seeders, to cope with narrow country lanes?!
    3m wide seeders are to big for our roads.

    This is something for you to think about introducing into the next round.

    Reply
    • Replies to RJ Pedley>

      Comment by The Team posted on

      Hello,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      The Farming Equipment and Technology Fund will open again shortly. The list of eligible items will be included in the guidance but we've passed your comment onto the team in any case.

      Best wishes,
      The Team

      Reply

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