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Farming Equipment And Technology Fund

Time is running out to apply for up to £25,000 in support for livestock farmers.

Every year, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) offers financial support to encourage farmers to invest in new technology and equipment.

The Farming Equipment and Technology Fund (FETF) for 2024 is now open and accepting applications from livestock farmers. But with the deadline approaching, some British farmers could miss out on much-needed support.

Find out below what kind of support you could receive from the FETF 2024.

About The FETF

The government offers the Farming Equipment and Technology Fund to make investing easier in equipment that farmers may not otherwise be able to afford.

The latest technology and new farming equipment can help increase yields, reduce waste, improve animal welfare, minimise environmental impact, help manage slurry, and increase productivity.

However, many farmers need financial support to invest in the latest agricultural technology. Offering between £1,000 and £25,000 for farmers, contractors and producers, the fund covers a specific list of items approved by the government.

The list itself is created with the support and in consultation with farmers, vets, academics and industry groups to ensure the grant is being used effectively.

The first half of the grant supports productivity and slurry management, while the second half of the funding is for animal health and welfare. Round 1 of funding for Productivity and Slurry management is already being allocated, but the Animal Health and Welfare funds are still accepting applications.

Are you eligible for the FETF?

The FETF is open to any farmer, horticulturist, forestry owner or agricultural contractor with a business based in England. The Animal Health and Welfare fund covers the following:

  • Beef cattle
  • Dairy cattle
  • Sheep
  • Pigs
  • Laying hens (including rearing and breeding farms)
  • Broilers (including rearing and breeding farms)

The eligibility criteria change year to year, so although other types of livestock farming are not currently covered, this might change next year.

Furthermore, any farmer that qualifies for funding and then exits the industry before 31 May 2024 will no longer be eligible. Farmers who apply for the Lump Sum Exit (LSE) scheme to leave farming will have to return any funding received from the FETF.

Any crown bodies and non-departmental public bodies are also not eligible.

What does the FETF cover?

The two grants, Productivity and Slurry and Animal Health and Welfare, will only cover specific technology and equipment listed by the government. You can check out the complete list on the government website.

Some items on the list for Animal Health and Welfare include:

  • Mobile or fixed handling systems (cattle, sheep and pigs)
  • Cattle crush (manual, automatic or hydraulic)
  • Cattle crush fixtures such as foot trimming, squeezes and head scoops
  • Calving gates
  • Calf milk pasteuriser and dispenser
  • Feed stations
  • Cow brushes
  • Fencing
  • Floor inserts
  • Heated lamps
  • Rubber flooring
  • Ventilation systems
  • Automatic weighing for sheep
  • Sheep dip
  • Lamb feeders
  • Disinfecting equipment
  • Piglet heat pads
  • Pig housing
  • Enrichment toys (cattle, sheep and pigs)
  • Electronic sow feeders
  • Automated monitoring systems
  • Poultry housing
  • Poultry scales
  • Poultry feed bins
  • Ramps and platforms for poultry
  • Feed and drink systems
  • And more

The list also details specific criteria that must be met for the funding to be available.

Please note some items must be of a certain standard, set up in a certain way or have a particular use. These criteria ensure that the grant is being used to achieve the overall aim of increasing productivity, improving the lives of the animals and reducing environmental impact.

While the grant may contribute to help pay for anything on the list, it often doesn’t cover the total amount, so farmers need to be prepared to cover the outstanding costs.

It’s worth noting that any item must be bought new and cannot be home-made, second hand or refurbished. The funding committee will want to verify receipts, so any qualifying items must be purchased separately, and the grant cannot be used to fund existing machinery and equipment.

So, if you’ve already purchased new technology or equipment, sorry, but you’ve missed out.

The good news is, if you’re planning on investing in anything on the list, applications are still open.

Applying For The FETF

Like most grants or funds offered by the government, the application process for the FETF isn’t a simple one.

If you need support with investing in new equipment, how to apply or what to discuss other ways to finance new equipment, contact the team at Evangate today.

If you think you might benefit from the FETF, follow these steps to maximise your chances of receiving government support.  

  1. Check the official list of eligible items on the government website
  2. Speak to suppliers to ensure the specifications meet the requirements
  3. Ensure you have appropriate funding to pay for the items upfront (the fund will be given to you as a refund, so you will need to pay upfront)
  4. Register and update your official bank detail with the Rural Payments service
  5. Make an official application online
  6. Pay for and install the listed items once your application has been accepted
  7. Submit a claim to claim your grant and to receive payment in your registered account
  8. Record the items for the next five years, including any relevant documentation and invoices

In some instances, the application may be rejected as the government will require additional information. If this happens, you can reapply and update your application with the correct information.

Financing Your New Purchases

For many farmers, the biggest hurdle to overcome is having the money to pay upfront before the grant reimbursement.

That’s where specialist agriculture finance brokers can help.

If you are eligible for the grant but need support raising the initial funds, speak to a broker who will be able to offer bespoke financial help so you can make the most of the FETF grant.

Complete the form below for a free finance quote.

The application deadline is midday on 1st JMay 2024, so don’t delay.

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