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  • Improving Farm Productivity under the Countryside Productivity Scheme

  • The grants are funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD). The government has guaranteed funding for RDPE Countryside Productivity Scheme grants if they are agreed and signed before the UK’s departure from the EU, even if the grant agreements continue after we have left the EU. This is subject to projects meeting the following conditions:

    • They are good value for money
    • They are in line with domestic strategic priorities

    The four grants are improving farm productivity, adding value to agri-food, water resource management and improving forestry productivity.

    Improving Farm Productivity

    The priorities are to improve farm productivity through:

    • The use of robotic equipment to aid crop and livestock production
    • Increasing the use of renewable energy produced on farm by improving energy storage and distribution
    • The use of LED wavelength controlled lighting to aid crop production
    • More efficient use of livestock slurries, manures and digestate

    However, they can’t be used to fund:

    • Generate renewable energy
    • Buy irrigation equipment
    • Fund equipment used in the processing and packing of fruit and vegetables
    • Crop storage
    • Fund anaerobic

    The grant is for a minimum of £35,000. However, the grant can cover up to 40% of the eligible costs of a project. Therefore, the minimum total cost of a project would be £87,500.

    The eligible costs include:

    • Robotic Equipment: Driverless vehicles, robotic harvesting, robotic weeding, robotic milking and robotic handling of manures and slurries.
    • Energy Efficient Equipment:

    o   Associated equipment for the use of renewable heat generated on farm. Costs can include pipework, heat exchangers and pumps, but not the heat source.

    o   Installation of electrical battery storage system to enable better use of renewable electricity produced on the farm.

    o   Installation of automated thermal screens in glasshouses to aid climate control.

    o    Installation of wavelength specific LED lighting to aid crop growth and pest control.

    • Slurry and Digestate Management equipment: Low emission precision application equipment that includes all 5 of the following- inline nutrient sensors, flow meters, adjustable flow control valves, GPS receiver and in cab display/ control unit recording application rates/ volumes.