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North East Farmers Must Act Now to Secure CPSGS Funding

Thu 14 February 2019

Delayed action can result in withdrawn applications, warns YoungsRPS


With the application window due to open in the coming weeks, farmers in the North East of England are being urged to act now if they want to take advantage of funding for the Countryside Productivity Small Grants Scheme (CPSGS).

The CPSGS is targeted at supporting investment for specific pieces of agricultural equipment and helps farmers to purchase items that will improve efficiency and therefore productivity. Last year saw the Government award £15 million to farmers who applied for funding support.

The next application window is predicted to open around May time, giving farmers some time to research products, to ensure they are able to meet the conditions of the scheme.

Commenting on the upcoming application window, Helen Proud, Rural Chartered Surveyor for YoungsRPS, said: “Due to success of the scheme last year and demand for equipment, we had a number of clients who couldn’t source the items by the deadline and who therefore had to withdraw their application. One example of this was cattle handling systems, which were very difficult to source from suppliers.

Obviously, this lack of support and availability of equipment can result in a delay in farm investments, and potentially efficiencies not being utilised in what is already proving to be a testing trading year. I strongly urge farmers to order items as soon as possible if they want to ensure they can take full advantage of this scheme.”

Important to note, is that any farmer who had to withdraw last year can reapply this year. Applications for the CPSGS are made online, and after confirmation of a successful application, 150 days are allowed for the purchase and delivery of the items and to claim payment.

Helen points out: “If you haven’t prepared sufficiently, meeting the requirements can prove difficult.  So, it really is important to take expert advice, to ensure that you fully understand the process and eligibly criteria.”

The Government has committed £30 million for 2019, and due to the many challenges on farm profitability, strong interest in applications is expected for technology that will boost productivity and increase yields. The funding is open to all sectors and includes equipment specific to cattle, sheep and pig farmers, as well as precision farming and resource management equipment for arable farmers.

Example items include cattle handling systems, electronic weigh systems, calving detectors, EID hand held readers and precision farming equipment. New items have also been added to the list of equipment eligible for funding this year, including fruit ripeness spectrometers and nitrogen-measuring devices for calculating fertiliser application for crops. The YoungsRPS website contains details of these, which provide many opportunities for farmers to take advantage of this funding.

“There are key investment requirements built into the scheme. In 2018, funding was for a minimum of £3000 and to a maximum of £12,000 and covered 40% of the costs of the kit. It is assumed that the 2019 CPSGS will be on the same basis. All items have a standard cost apportioned to them and it is this cost that the farmer will be paid on rather than the actual cost of item, even if the item sourced is cheaper. Farmers cannot purchase second hand equipment.

YoungsRPS is an independent firm of chartered surveyors, land and estate agents, commercial surveyors operating throughout the UK, but principally within the North of England and Scotland.