Rural Hub
Back

Improving Farm Productivity grant open

2 mins

The much anticipated Improving Farm Productivity grant – part of the Farming Investment Fund – is now open to farmers, foresters and growers in England, as well as agricultural contractors.

Those planning to invest in their businesses are being urged to consider whether this grant could be suitable for them.

To be successful, projects are required to aim to reduce environmental impacts and boost productivity using innovative equipment, technology and infrastructure.

The grant will cover up to 40% of total project costs and can help fund the purchase of:

  • Robotic horticulture and arable equipment: driverless tractors, robotic harvesting, robotic crop spraying and weeding
  • Robotic animal welfare equipment: automated milking systems, robotic feeding
  • Slurry acidification equipment and infrastructure

Grants are also available for advanced ventilation control systems for existing horticultural and livestock buildings and wavelength-specific LED lighting for horticultural crops.

£25 million is available under this first round of the grant scheme, with the minimum grant on offer set at £35,000 (meaning a minimum total project cost of £87,500) and the maximum grant capped at £500,000 per applicant.

Applicants could apply for funding for both a slurry project and a robotics project, but these would need to be applied for separately and the total grant amount awarded would be capped at £500,000 across both projects.

This scheme is part of the government’s Agricultural Transition Plan and will therefore aim to fund priority projects supporting the farming sector to achieve its Net Zero objectives. Any projects using renewable energy will have a competitive advantage over projects using fossil fuel.

Application process

The application process consists of two steps. First, the online eligibility checker, which is open until 16 March 2022, enables applicantsto check if their project would be eligible for funding under this grant scheme and how well it scores against the funding priorities. If applicants are successful in this first step, they will receive an invitation from the Rural Payments Agency (RPA) to prepare and submit a full application, and will have until 14 September 2022 to do so.

Applicants need to be mindful that projects which require planning permission will need to have any consents in place by 31 December 2022 to be eligible for the grant. This can take a while to put in place, so start planning now.

Farmers and landowners will also need to be mindful that the scheme is aimed at bringing about significant changes to farming practices, which could have wider implications for systems and processes across the business.

It will therefore be very important to develop a clear business case for the investment at an early stage. For example, establishing whether the return on investment is going to come from improved outputs or cost savings elsewhere. The Strutt & Parker team is here to help farms and landowners navigate these choices.

The first stage of the application process closes on 16 March 2022.

To find out more about the Improving Farm Productivity grant scheme, contact your local Strutt & Parker office.

Marie Charles
Research Assistant
Stamford
+44 (0)7584 506129
Send a message to Marie Charles
2 mins

Related Articles

27.05.2022

Farmers reminded about pesticide register deadline

Farmers using plant protection products are reminded of the need to register their details on a new government database by 22 June. It was announced last month that any business which uses Plant Protection Products (PPPs) and adjuvants professionally must register under The Official Controls (Plant Protection Products) Regulations 2020. The database is being compiled […]
20.05.2022

The UK’s Shared Prosperity Fund – A rural perspective

EU rural development money has been an important source of grant funding for many farms and estates over the years, funding a wide variety of diversification projects and supporting investment in equipment to boost farm productivity. Traditionally, this money has flowed via the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development Programme (EAFRD), known as ‘Pillar 2’ […]
18.05.2022

Land Business Update | Week Commencing 16th May

Welcome to our update on key land management, farming, planning and energy issues. FARMING AND FOOD Basic Payments in England to be paid in two tranches To help the cashflow of farm businesses in England, Basic Payments will now be paid 50% in August (possibly into September) and 50% from December onwards. This change will […]
27.04.2022

Land Business Update | Week Commencing 25th April

Welcome to our update on key land management, farming, planning and energy issues. ENERGY UK Energy Strategy This long-awaited plan aims to boost UK energy independence and tackle rising prices. It mainly focuses on energy generation and not on energy efficiency. It includes a revised nuclear programme, which will take considerable time to start generating […]

Talk to us

Want to talk to us about our rural specialisms? Send us a message and we will make sure it gets to the right person.

Please write your name
Please write a message

Sign up

Sign up to be notified when we launch new publications so you’re always ahead of the research.

Please write your name
Please write a correct email address
Send me updates about
Please tick a box