The Farming Investment Fund
This £27 million fund provides grants to farmers, growers, and foresters (including related contractors) so that they can invest in the things they need to improve productivity and enhance the natural environment. This includes new equipment, technology, and infrastructure.
The Farming Investment Fund is made up of 2 parts:
• The Farming Equipment and Technology Fund
• The Farming Transformation Fund
The Farming Equipment and Technology Fund
The Farming Equipment and Technology Fund is the new way for us to provide small productivity grants to farmers. Essentially based the scheme on the old small productivity grants scheme, but with some important changes based on feedback from farmers.
Increasing the number of items on the list from 85 to 120
Reflecting the needs of all agricultural sectors including horticulture and forestry. We will keep this list under review and will continue to add and remove items as the fund evolves between rounds.
Reducing the minimum to £2,000
Small farmers found the minimum grant at £3,000 in the Countryside Productivity Small Grant (CPSG) was too high, so we’ve reduced the minimum to £2,000.
Increasing the maximum grant to £25,000
Increasing this figure allows us to add higher value items, but also larger variants of existing items, for example a wider range of direct drill sizes.
We added contractors to the list of eligible applicants on the Farming Equipment and Technology Fund (including those serving livestock, dairy, arable and horticultural sectors).
This reflects the many different methods employed in modern farming businesses and we hope this will allow equipment purchased through the fund to benefit more farmers.
Changing the ‘all or nothing’ rule
We changed the rules to allow applicants to remove items in certain cases. This could be where items can be bought as a package rather than separately, or where they have selected the wrong item or where manufacturers are unable to deliver all the items within the claim deadline.
In these situations, we will look at requests to remove items on a case-by-case basis, subject to the grant requested still being above the minimum grant (£2,000).
Animal Health and Welfare
As part of the Animal Health and Welfare Pathway, we will be launching a new expanded grant offer late next year to co-fund investment in equipment, technology and infrastructure that will improve animal health and welfare.
We will soon launch an online suggestions box to give farmers, vets, academics and other industry stakeholders the opportunity to suggest which capital items are included. While we finalise the full offer, we will continue to fund items from Countryside Productivity Small Grant that improve animal health and welfare through Farming Equipment and Technology Fund.
We have also provided farmers with an important initial offer to upgrade their slurry management systems through an expanded slurry equipment offer.
Offering strong environmental benefits, we will build on this through the offer of grants for additional infrastructure and equipment as part of future rounds of the fund.
We believe these changes maintain the integrity of the scheme while addressing the key concerns raised by farmers and stakeholders. We are still keen to hear from farmers as we continue to develop and evolve the fund through future rounds.
The Farming Transformation Fund
Today we are opening the Water Management theme. This theme is dedicated to arable and horticultural businesses growing, or intending to grow, irrigated food crops, ornamentals or forestry nurseries.
This offers grants towards capital items to improve farm productivity through more efficient use of water for irrigation, and to secure water supplies for crop irrigation by constructing on-farm reservoirs and adopting irrigation application equipment.
We have reduced the maximum grant available to £500,000 (the minimum remains at £35,000) to enable us to ensure funding is available to support the widest number of farmers, whilst still being committed to supporting higher value projects which align to the fund’s objectives. Applicants may undertake larger projects, but the grant ceiling will be £500,000.
Farming Investment Fund (FIF)
Information about funding for farmers, foresters, growers and contractors about grants for investing in new technology From; Rural Payments Agency Published 16 November 2021 and applies to England
Farming Equipment and Technology Fund
Farming Transformation Fund
The Farming Investment Fund (FIF) provides grants to improve productivity and bring environmental benefits. FIF is made up of 2 separate funds:
Farming Equipment and Technology Fund (for grants between £2,000 and £25,000)
Farming Transformation Fund (for grants bet ween £35,000 and £500,000)
Farming Equipment and Technology Fund
This fund provides grants towards the cost of equipment and technology to improve the productivity of farms in a sustainable way. https://www.gov.uk/guidance/farming-equipment-and-technology-fund-round-1-manual/annex-4-eligible-items-by-category
Our new HerdInsights Heat & Health Monitoring solution will be eligible within the grant!
HerdInsights supports dairy farmers looking to maximise their breeding programme and minimise treatment costs. Ideal for pasture-based dairy operations, our smart HerdInsights Active Collars deliver world-class precision in heat detection to optimise mating and insemination, and health monitoring to provide early warning on looming health issues.
All HerdInsights Active Collars integrate with the HerdInsights App to provide timely and reliable data and alerts in the dairy, or via any mobile device.
Item Name & Specification (sections relevant to Datamars products)
Grant Amount £ (based on a Q of 1)
EID Panel reader for cattle
Static race reader, with Antenna and Bluetooth connection. Must be able to read HDX and FDX B tags. To be eligible under this item the reader must be permanently fixed to the race or cattle crush. Portable readers are not eligible under this item.
EID Panel reader for sheep
Static/race reader, with Antenna and Bluetooth connection. Must be able to read HDX and FDX B tags. To be eligible under this item the reader must be permanently fixed to the sheep handling system. Portable readers are not eligible under this item.
EID Handheld Recorder Device
EID handheld device with RFID technology for individual reading and recording of animals. The reader must have the ability to record information on breeding, births, weights, treatments and movements as a minimum. If the reader relies on a mobile device to input, access and record this information the mobile device must be purchased as part of this item. The reader must be capable of exporting data to a computer based software package for the active monitoring of livestock.
EID Handheld Device (stick reader)
EID handheld device (stick reader) with RFID technology for individual reading of animals. Must be capable of scanning tags and storing tag data, with the ability to connect wirelessly to mobile phones or other devices. Must be able to read HDX and FDX B tags.
Pasture Plate Meter (Hand-held)
A handheld device to assess grass cover by measuring total height and the number of measurements taken. The device must have the capability of storing measurements taken from separate paddocks and for the data to be downloaded to a computer or mobile device. Plate meters that are not able to store data electronically for later electronic transfer are not eligible.
Heat Detection System - Base Unit
Automated system for the heat detection in cows based on motion detection. Using either electronic ear tags, neck collars or ankle transponders to identify the animal - see FETF91 ‘Heat Detection System - Ear Tag, Collar or Ankle Band’.
Heat Detection System - Ear Tag, Collar or Ankle Band
Automated system for the heat detection in cows. Ear tag, neck collars or ankle bands to measure motion associated with oestrous behaviour. Cost is per neck collar/ankle band or ear tag. Note for ear tags to be eligible they must have a life expectancy of at least five years and be reusable (transferable to another animal). Tags used for Cattle Tracing System (CTS) purposes are not eligible for funding. Bolus type transponders are not eligible under this scheme.
Solar powered Electric Fencer Energiser
Solar powered electric fencing energiser with integrated solar panel and battery. Energiser providing at least 0.15 joules output. Purchased as a whole working unit (single item), not parts.
How to apply
The Round 1 application period opens on 16 November 2021 and will close on 7 January 2022.
Read the FETF Round 1 manual for full details about who is eligible and what you can get funding for before you apply. https://www.gov.uk/guidance/farming-equipment-and-technology-fund-round-1-manual
FETF contact details and accessibility information
Email FETFEnquiries@rpa.gov.uk or call the RPA helpline on 0300 020 0301 and select the option for the Farming Equipment and Technology Fund.
The Improving Farm Productivity grant opens later this year for applications.
Adding Value grant
The Adding Value grant opens early next year for applications
What happens next
RPA will assess the information you submit. If your project is suitable, you will be asked to submit a full application.
FTF contact details
Email FTF@rpa.gov.uk or call RPA on 03000 200301 and select the option for the Farming Transformation Fund.
Click here to read the DEFRA blog.