The RDPE Countryside Productivity Small Grant scheme provides grants for farmers ranging from £3,000 to £12,000 to purchase equipment to improve the productivity of their farm. The scheme differs to other parts of the Countryside Productivity scheme as it is applied for via an online application process and a prescribed list of specific pieces of agricultural equipment.
The first round of the scheme was oversubscribed and consequently the Government has significantly increased the funding available for the scheme which is expected to be available towards the end of January 2019.
The grant is available to cover up to 40% of the cost of specific farm equipment, the guidance notes outlining what equipment will be eligible for this year has yet to be published. However, the list of eligible equipment is likely to be similar to last years which can be viewed at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/countryside-productivity-scheme. The items that are likely to be eligible for livestock farmers include a range of livestock handling systems, crushes, calving detectors, weighting equipment, calf feeders, EID devices, pasture plate meters and electric scraper systems. Arable farmers are likely to be able to receive grants for precision farming equipment including GPS units, yield mapping devices, variable rate controllers and direct or strip till drills.
We would recommend that if you are interested in the scheme to start your research now as the scheme rules state that grant recipients have 150 days from the date of their funding agreement to purchase, take delivery and pay for the grant funded equipment and submit the grant claim. Although the rules clearly outline that you must not order or buy any of the items in your application before you have received confirmation it has been approved.