STAFFORDSHIRE farmers have a second chance to net up to £25,000 to boost their efficiency.
The next round of the Farming and Forestry Improvement Scheme (FFIS) opened for applications on Tuesday and another round of Rural Community Broadband Fund (RCBF) opened on May 10.
FFIS funding can enable farming, forestry and horticultural businesses become more efficient at using resources.
Grants from £2,500 to £25,000 will be available for capital projects which help to improve animal health and welfare, reduce energy usage, improve the management of manures and farm nutrients, improve water resource management or improve use of forestry resources.
Items that can be funded include slurry application equipment, GPS equipment, covering and roofing slurry pits, lagoons and silage pits, heat recovery systems and electricity efficiency devices, Midlands rainwater harvesting, water storage and recycling, livestock handling and health equipment and improvements to second livestock housing, forestry processing equipment such as forwarders, chippers, saw and benches.
The first round of FFIS applications closed in January and 1,000 applications were received from across the country.
Defra The West Midlands received the second highest number of applications, which included a large amount from Staffordshire, and Defra was “encouraged” by numbers of beef and sheep farmers applying for high welfare cattle crushes, mobile handling facilities, rainwater harvesting and nutrient management applications for GPS systems.
Mandy Seedhouse, grants specialist with valuers and surveyors Berrys, said: “Although the scheme broadly has the same objectives as the first round, some of the items and conditions have changed.”