Farmers in Scotland are advised to start their research if they wish to apply for grant support for any of the capital items eligible as part of the Sustainable Agriculture Capital Grant Scheme.
The £10m pilot scheme, which offers grants of up to £20,000, has been announced by the Scottish Government as part of its strategy to rebuild the rural economy after Covid-19.
The objective is to provide grant funding for farmers and crofters to purchase specific items of agricultural equipment which will help to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, protect and improve the natural environment or support sustainable farming and land use.
Capital items that will be supported by the scheme include a range of livestock handling systems, weighing equipment, EID devices, calving detectors, precision-farming equipment, low emission slurry application systems, slurry store covers and very flexible tractor tyres.
Although the list of eligible items is relatively limited, the scheme could be a valuable opportunity for farmers who are already thinking of investing in this type of equipment.
The government has also chosen to base grants on standard costs, which will save farmers’ time and effort as they will not be required to gather quotes.
The SACGS is due to open later this month, but will only run for five weeks.
It will be a competitive scheme with each item allocated a number of “green points” based on the impact they will have on reducing greenhouse gas emissions, taking into account wider benefits.
Farmers who have previously completed a carbon audit, nutrient management plan or veterinary health plan before 1 March 2020, but after 1 March 2017, may be eligible for additional points.
For further details contact Mary Munro.