Defra announces latest round of FETF funding
8th June 2023
Over £30 million has been made available to farmers and foresters for equipment and technology under the Productivity and Slurry budget.
More than 90 pieces of equipment are now available to claim under the latest round of the Farming Equipment and Technology Fund (FETF).
Defra has announced funding of £31 million in the Productivity and Slurry pot, which covers products such as: rainwater harvesting tanks to reduce water scarcity for farmers in the summer; tree shears to help stop the spread of pests and diseases; and equipment to minimise grass contamination and ammonia emissions when spreading slurry.
Funding has been increased from the original £17 million to £31 million, after 3,000 applications were received for the FETF 2023 Productivity and Slurry grants.
Defra has also added 21 additional items this year, including camera-guided inter-row sprayers to help reduce herbicide usage, and mulchers for forestry, orchards and vineyards to help reduce input costs and improve carbon retention in the soil.
The FETF provides funding for farmers to invest in tools to improve sustainable production across agriculture, horticulture and forestry. Productivity and Slurry grants will specifically support the purchase of equipment and technology to help farmers use fewer inputs, reduce emissions and cut waste.
Items applied for in the FETF 2023 Productivity and Slurry budget include:
- Direct drill with fertiliser placement for precision drilling of arable and cover crops to help reduce crop establishment costs and increase efficiency of fertiliser usage. 250 applicants to be offered this grant worth £6.25m.
- Robotic drill and guided hoe – an autonomous robotic vehicle which can precisely place seed in the ground and return to mechanically weed – this helps to reduce herbicide usage and associated costs. Ten applications accepted with a value of £250,000.
- Rainwater harvesting tanks with a minimum capacity of 5,000 litres which will help to reduce water scarcity for farmers in the summer months. This equipment will now benefit 86 recipients with a value of £110,802.
- Tree shears with the capacity to fell 300mm diameter trees to stop the spread of pests and diseases across our woodlands. This funding helped 113 recipients with a total value of £363,747.
- Dribble bars with a minimum working width of 6m designed to apply slurry to the soil surface as accurately as possible to minimise grass contamination and ammonia emissions. This equipment was made accessible to 94 farmers, amounting to a value of £403,200.
- Direct drills with a width of 3m to conserve moisture and reduces soil erosion. This initiative assisted 129 applicants, totalling £1.555m in value.
The FETF 2023 is made up of two themes: Animal Health and Welfare, and Productivity and Slurry. The Animal Health and Welfare FETF 2023 has been given a separate portal to streamline the application process and has seen 66 new items added to its books.
Applicants can still apply to the Animal Health and Welfare strand of FETF 2023 until 15th June 2023. The government plans to offer further rounds of FETF funding in the future.