There are three separate grant themes to apply for individually covering improving productivity, managing slurry and improving animal health and welfare.
There is also an increased overall budget for productivity of £70 million as well as £10.5 million for slurry and around £20 million for the animal health and welfare grant theme.
The FETF (Farming Equipment and Technology Fund) 2024 offer is open to farmers, horticulturists, contractors, and foresters in England and split across three themes:
Basis of funding – This grant offers funding to contribute to a specific list of equipment to increase productivity, boost environmental sustainability, better manage slurry and improve animal health and welfare.
Competitive grants – The FETF 24 grant is competitive and you may not get a grant after applying for one. The success of an application(s) is dependent on the number and value of applications the RPA receive for each theme of the grant during each application window.
Each item is scored, and the average score per application will be set against all the applications and the budget available to determine the threshold score and who is and isn’t successful.
Grant contributions – Grant contributions of 50% or 60% towards eligible items for successful applications are paid against either the average cost of the item listed, or the actual cost paid if an item costs less than this average.
Three funding themes and applications in one grant – Each of the following themes of this grant has a separate list of eligible items you can apply for funding for. The grant budget is split evenly across these themes.
You can only accept one grant funding agreement for each grant in 2024. If one is accepted you cannot apply again for the same grant theme in 2024. For example, if your applicating during the first application window has been accepted, you cannot apply for later application windows.
If your application falls below the scoring threshold and is unsuccessful for an application window, the RPA will reject it, but you would be able to apply again in a future application window.
There are separate application windows for the following themes:
Grants for items under the improving productivity list are available for the following categories:
- Resource and energy management
- Water and irrigation management
The productivity offering contains 85 items, covering a variety of sectors and aims to improve your business productivity.
There are 24 new productivity items in the 2024 offer.
Each item is scored individually; for example a direct drill (FETF45) of 6m is scored at 67 out of 100, while farmyard cameras (FETF219) have a score of 31 out of 100. Alongside this score is a percentage, usually between 50-60%, which is the proportion of grant funding available to that item.
For both the items in this example, they will be paid at a 50% rate, meaning the remaining 50% will need to be funded independently.
Grants for items on the slurry management list are available to farmers or contractors in the following sectors:
- Slurry collection and storage
- Slurry testing
- Slurry application
There is a widened specification for slurry separators included in the 2024 offer.
Items under the slurry management theme are scored out of 100 and will be funded at a 60% rate. For example, a mobile slurry separator (FETF501) is scored at 65 out of 100 and is new for 2024.
Another option is the real time inline nutrient analysis of slurry (FETF29) which has a score of 78 out of 100. An application for these two items would score 71 out of 100 as an application.
Grants for items on the animal health and welfare list are available to farmers or contractors in the following sectors:
The calculations for animal health and welfare items work slightly differently compared to the two other themes. This theme works by dividing the beneficial score of the chosen items, by their cost to calculate the value for money of an individual agreement.
For example, a mobile sheep handling system (FETF69) has a score of 2,030 and a grant contribution of £4,881. Giving this item a score of 0.42.
By comparison, an EID panel reader for sheep (FETF74) has a score of 1,910 and a grant contribution of £793 giving it a score of 2.4. As with both other themes, it will be important to consider the available equipment and ensure the options are suited to the needs of your farm and contribute to the grant aims.
For animal health and welfare items, the RPA and Defra recommend seeking the advice of a vet. This can now be used to increase the strength of your application, meaning you have have a higher chance of success.
The RPA will need the vet’s details, the date of the discussion and permission to contact them when you apply.
The advice must relate to your application and be received after 1 January 2024, but before 1 January 2025. You can receive this advice in several ways, including by phone, email, or as part of a vet visit.
This will increase your application’s value by 20%.
Unlike in previous rounds, the FETF 2024 offer will be across three application windows throughout 2024.
The budget will be equally split between these three opportunities to apply. If an application falls below the threshold in one round, it will not prevent you from applying again for the subsequent round. If you are successful, however, you will not be able to apply for the same grant a second time.
When the application window is open, there will also be a new Farming Investment Fund application service to make it easier to apply for FETF grants. You will need to register for the service to apply.
The RPA has said the claim submission deadlines for FETF 2024 will be confirmed in the Grant Funding Agreement sent to those that are successful with an application.
It’s likely that there will be three separate deadlines, matching the three application windows.
The FETF 2024 grants are for a minimum of £1,000 and a maximum of between £25,000 for the animal health and welfare theme and £50,000 for the productivity and slurry themes. If you want to apply for a grant over £25,000 you will need to provide further information to the RPA.
If you were successful and received funding in FETF 2023 you can still apply for FETF 2024. The minimum and maximum grant levels apply to 2024 only.
You can apply to any theme or all three, for any of the eligible items that best suit your business.
Where a claim for an individual grant is more than £25,000, the RPA will ask for additional information to support your application. These can include either:
financial accounts for the most recent 3 years of trading
latest tax returns, management accounts or a statement of income and expenses from an accountant (if you are a new business or self-employed) .
The RPA will also need proof of your ability to match funding to cover the balance of the item costs for the grant.
The RPA will assess the following:
- the current financial viability of your business
- how you will fund the items until the grant is claimed
It is worth noting that, in acknowledgement of possible supply issues, you may be able to reserve an item for a refundable deposit as part of the grant. This is subject to additional specific requirements. Failure to meet these will result in your claim being rejected.
The deposit must be:
- For no more than 50% of the items’ cost.
- It must be clearly marked by your supplier on your invoices to show that a refundable deposit was used to purchase the item.
- The deposit must not have been put down before 20 February 2024.
There are 232 eligible items of equipment available under FETF 2024 split across:
- 17 items of slurry equipment
- 85 items of equipment for improving productivity
- 130 items to promote animal health and welfare
Items must be paid for in full before a claim can be made. All grant purchases must be through a supplier of manufacturer; these cannot be linked to the your business, and they cannot be home built equipment.
Grants are awarded through the FETF based on the overall score of your application per grant.
These scores can be found on the individual annexes for each theme below:
- GOV.UK | Productivity items and specifications
- GOV.UK | Slurry items and specifications
- GOV.UK | Animal health and welfare items and specifications
As with previous schemes, where a theme is oversubscribed, the RPA will allocate funding to those items (or the average for a combination of items) applied for with the highest score first.
This information was requested after the over-subscription for round 1 to help farmers understand why they were unsuccessful.
For FETF 2024, there will be three application windows, so for those who are unsuccessful during the first window, there will be two further windows in which to try again for a successful application.
Which items are not eligible?
If the equipment you want is not listed, or does not meet the minimum specification, it is not eligible for this grant.
Only brand-new items can be funded through the FETF. Ex-demo, second hand and ‘try before you buy’ items are not eligible for this grant. Part exchange, hire purchase or lease items will also not be available under this grant.
It is important to read the FETF 24 specifications carefully, as some may have changed since FETF 23 as the entire grant offering has been reviewed.