Payments for equipment, technology and infrastructure
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 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.
The 2-step application process for the Improving Farm Productivity grant starts with an online eligibility checker. Unfortunately, the online checker was scoring dairy sector applications ‘weak’ or ‘average’. It did not appear possible to score highly. This error was investigated and a glitch in the scoring was identified. It has been fixed. Those who were deterred from applying because of this are encouraged to try again. No one will be disadvantaged because of this.
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.
Last month, we launched the Farming Investment Fund. It included the Farming Equipment and Technology Fund and the Water Management theme of the Farming Transformation Fund. Since the launch, we’ve had regular conversations to hear your views our approach. We want to make improvements as we go. In this post, I’ll share what we heard and what we’re doing to make things better as a result.
In the latest episode of the Future Farming podcast, Programme Director Janet Hughes talks to the policy lead for the Farming Investment Fund, Sarah Evered. Listen to find out how the team designed the fund, what we've learned and what's coming next.
I’m pleased to say that the Farming Investment Fund launches today. The fund provides grants to farmers, growers, and foresters (including related contractors) so that they can invest in the things they need to improve productivity and enhance the natural environment. In this post, I'll share how you can apply and find out more.