Defra’s Countryside Productivity Small Grants Scheme opens

 Farmers have eight weeks to apply for funding under the second round of Defra's Countryside Productivity Small Grants Scheme. The scheme opened for applications on 9 July, after is has been previously promised for early 2019. 


It offers farmers in England grants of between £3,000 and £12,000 to invest in specific pieces of agricultural equipment.


More than 80 items are eligible for funding, with the aim of improving technical efficiency, animal health and welfare, resource efficiency or nutrient management. A list of items eligible for grants under this scheme is in the handbook at


The grants cover up to 40% of the cost of equipment or up to 50% in Cornwall and Isles of Scilly. This means that the minimum value of kit purchased is £7,500 and the maximum is £30,000. Multiple items can be included in one application. 


The list of eligible equipment has been updated and 26 items have been added since the scheme last ran in early 2018. 


Nitrogen-measuring devices for calculating fertiliser application for crops, GPS light bars, GPS auto steers, cover crop rollers, portable ammonia analysers, vaccination guns, robotic slurry pushes, livestock monitoring cameras and EID panel readers for sheep and cattle are all now included.


The scheme is straightforward, with a single-staged online application process, as long as applicants are registered with Rural Payments Service. The application form can be found online here.


Items eligible for funding are listed in guidance notes with a standard cost - which is the maximum fixed price towards which Defra will pay the grant. This means there is no need to provide quotes for items. 


All applications are assessed by the Rural Payments Agency, with those scoring highly enough offered a funding agreement. 


Applications close on 3 September and can be withdrawn at any time. The RPA aims to payout within 30 days of receiving proof of a claim. 


Farmers who successfully applied in round one can apply in round two, but the total of both applications must not be more than £12,000.