Farmers across the country are to receive £23.5m in small grants allocated to boost farming productivity, the government has today confirmed.
More than 3,500 grants worth £23.5 million have been allocated from the Countryside Productivity Small Grants scheme (CPSG).
The scheme will help farmers to purchase the equipment they need to make their businesses more productive, with grants available to aid electronic identification of livestock, improve the application of manures, and introduce guidance systems to aid precision farming.
Farming Minister George Eustice, who is attending the Royal Cornwall Show today (8 June), confirmed the news.
"It is fantastic to see this scheme has proven so popular, with a collective number of grants now worth £23.5 million, and nearly a third of this funding going towards farms and businesses across the South West," Mr Eustice said.
"The equipment on the market today can revolutionise farms, saving time and increasing yields. This funding will enable farmers, regardless of the size of their business, to access some of the best kit available."
State of the art
Projects which fall under the CPSG scheme include new state of the art equipment such as the Shallow Injections System which can inject slurry directly into the soil surface thereby reducing ammonia emissions, increasing the uptake of nitrogen in plants and enhancing silage quality.
The scheme, which closed for applications on 14 March, initially allocated £15 million to contribute to the cost of farm equipment to boost productivity on farms.
However due to the high number of quality applications Defra has increased the funding to £23.5 million.
Farms and businesses in Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, Somerset, Wiltshire and Gloucestershire are set to receive almost one third of the total allocation.
There is equipment specific to cattle, sheep and pig farmers, as well as precision farming and resource management and efficiency equipment designed to make the lives of arable and livestock farmers easier.
The Small Grant scheme is one element within the £200 million package of RDPE funding announced last summer, which aims to boost growth and create jobs in the rural economy.