Crop science

The government is offering another £15million to boost agri-tech and efficiency on farms.

Funding applications open today, with farm businesses eligible to apply for grants between £3,000, and £12,000, to help invest in new and innovative technology.

For the second round of funding, 26 new items have been added to the list of equipment available, including chlorophyll meters, which instantly measure the chlorophyll content of a plant leaf.

Another new item is the portable ammonia analyser, which can be used to check the levels of ammonia in farm buildings.

Farming Minister Robert Goodwill said: “The small grants scheme proved to be so popular in the first round because it gives farmers access to equipment that can deliver quick and tangible improvements.

“This isn’t just about increasing yields; it’s also about using the best tools and equipment that can improve animal welfare and the environment, such as monitoring the levels of nitrogen in crops.

“As we leave the EU we want more farmers to be able to invest in this kind of technology that can boost the bottom line and make a real difference.”

Farmers and rural businesses have eight weeks to submit a funding application, by visiting GOV.UK or going to

Grants are available for all farm types, including livestock, horticulture, and arable businesses.

Having released £15m last year as well, Defra is also developing plans for a third tranch of £15m in 2020.