The price of fertiliser has risen dramatically over the past year, but especially in recent months. Multiple global issues, including the war in Ukraine, have reduced gas and ammonium nitrate supply, forcing prices up. We know the impact of this affects the productivity and profit of farms in this country. We want to support our farmers through this growing season and beyond. In this post, we will share some updates in this area.
The items for the first round of the Farming Equipment and Technology Fund were developed with farmers, industry groups and other stakeholders. We’re adopting the same approach for the next round. We want you to tell us which items should be included, which items should be removed and which specifications need to be updated.
In October, we launched the first rounds of funding in our Farming Innovation Programme. As we've been processing the applications, we've seen a promising spread of ideas across the livestock, horticulture and broadacre sub-sectors. These ideas are coming in from across the whole of England. In this post, I'll share next steps and what to look out for this year.
In the seventh episode of the Future Farming podcast, Tim Mordan, Defra’s Head of Farming Innovation, Productivity and Science talks to Rui Andrês, CEO of Fieldwork Robotics, about their innovative raspberry robot picker.
Recently we ran the first round of our new Farming Equipment and Technology Fund. We received 5,624 eligible applications worth a total overall value of just over £53.5 million. This is triple our initial budget allocation for the fund.
Today, we've blogged about how we're working with farmers and others across the industry to use slurry to our advantage. Farmers told us that finance often stands in the way of improving their slurry and nutrient management systems. Investing in slurry equipment and infrastructure is expensive. Particularly when it comes to integrating new technologies, techniques and building infrastructure. In this post, we'll share how we've been developing slurry grants to better support farmers and what to expect later this year.
One of the ways we’re supporting farmers is through the Future Farming Resilience Fund. Through the fund, independent advisers can provide free business advice to farmers in England. In this post, I’ll share 2 new pieces of information about the fund. The first is a new opportunity for advice providers. The second is a request for farmers to give us feedback on the advice they’ve received through the fund.
At the end of last year, we published a manual on the Improving Farm Productivity grant, which is part of the Farming Transformation Fund. Today we opened the window for applications. We’re also hosting a webinar next week for you to find out more.
I’m pleased to say that following feedback, we are moving to a rolling application window for the rest of the Farming in Protected Landscapes programme.
The late harvest of last year made it difficult for farmers to apply for free business advice. So, we’ve offered our advice providers an extension of up to 6 months which is when the next phase of support is expected to begin.