The scheme opened on 7th September and is due to close on 11th October, with the aim of providing grant funding for farmers and crofters towards the purchase of specific items of agricultural equipment – including some sheep and cattle handling equipment and GPS systems for tractors.
Galbraith reports that very few farmers in Scotland have made an application for this funding, but nevertheless this may be an indication of how future schemes will be delivered.
Stewart Johnston, head of farm consultancy for Galbraith in Aberdeenshire, said:
Most of our clients have found the level of paperwork that needs to be in place before applying for this funding too onerous. They had to have already completed a carbon audit, to have detailed nutrient plans and veterinary plans already written up and to submit all this before applying for the grant. Most folk had completed their veterinary plans but not the other documentation.
Farmers are generally supportive of the Agriculture Transformation Programme but there is a significant degree of work that farmers have to undertake to meet the requirements.
However, we expect that most future funding schemes from the Scottish government will be in a similar vein and I would encourage everyone to undertake a carbon audit now, and to look at their nutrient plans, to make it easier to apply for future grants.
Galbraith manages or advises on over 3.5 million acres of farm, forestry, and estate land in Scotland and Northern England.