Today, 16th November, DEFRA launched the much publicised Farming Equipment & Technology Fund (FETF). It is similar in many ways to its predecessor the Small Capital Grant Scheme, but the list of eligible items has been expanded and grant is also open to more businesses, including contractors.
The aim of the grant is to provide funding for a range of items which the government believe will improve productivity and efficiency within the sector, as was as reducing the impact on the environment.
The deadline for applications is noon on the 7th January and will need to be made by the FETF application portal. All applicants will need to register with rural payments online prior to making an application. If an agent is completing the application on their behalf then they need to be given the correct permissions.
Unlike the previous scheme the grant is being offered as a fixed amount, rather than a percentage of the standard cost. For example, if you wish to claim for the 6 m direct drill then you will be paid £25,000. If the drill is more expensive then you will need to make up the remaining shortfall. The minimum grant is £2000 and the maximum grant is £25,000. You can claim a maximum of £50,000 if you were to then go on to make a further claim in a second round of funding.
A very welcome change for this grant is that not only is that farmers are eligible, but also horticulturalists, forestry owners and contractors.
From the previous scheme there are a couple of lessons learnt which potential applicants need to be aware of. If successful the items must be purchased, installed and claimed for, including submission of all evidence, by 30th September 2022. In the past there has been a shortage of items, which has meant that farmers were unable to take delivery and so could not claim the grant. The items must be new and cannot be second hand or ex-demo. Finally the items must match the specification contained within the guidance.
There are a large number of items available under various categories including resource management, precision and analysis livestock equipment, forestry and horticulture. Examples of some of the items include:
- Robotic Slurry Pusher/ Collector
- UV water treatment system
- Dribble bar applicator
- Shallow injection
- Direct drill
- Variable Rate Controller for sprayers and fertiliser spreaders
- Pasture Plate Meter
- Mobile and fixed cattle and sheep handling
- Specialist Foot Trimming cattle crush
- Electronic Weigh Crate for sheep
- EID handheld recorder device
- Calving detectors
- Electric fencing package
Please contact your local youngsRPS for the full list of items and the grant amount offered. We would also be happy to assist with any applications.
Helen Proud- Alnwick- 01665 606 800
Amanda Wilson- Hexham 01434 609 000
Jim Thompson- Sedgefield 01740 622 100
Our handy Farming Investment Fund booklet can be read here