Dairy producers who are interested in a move to computerised calf feeding, or indeed replacing ageing machines, will soon be able to apply for a further round of grant funding under the Countryside Productivity Small Grants scheme (CPSGS).
Following the £15 million made available in spring 2018, the Government has earmarked an additional £30 million to help producers to purchase agri-tech equipment that will make their businesses more productive and environmentally efficient.
“When the Government launched its first round of CPSGS funding in February 2018, we experienced a surge of interest in our Förster Technik and Urban computerised calf milk feeding machines,” says Volac’s Stacey Best. “Now there’s a further opportunity during 2019 for calf rearers to seek government financial support to improve the efficiency of their young stock rearing operation.
“Producers who have made the move to computerised feeding report a host of benefits, not least is that these machines take the variables out of the young calf rearing process. This leads to better calf health and growth.”
She adds that computerised systems allow milk feeding curves to be tailored to individual farms to hit target growth rates. “And while computerised feeding is not a substitute for good management practices, the assisted cleaning facility will reduce labour hours. These machines also allow producers to spend more ‘productive’ time with their calves, rather than manually moving milk around in buckets,” says Ms Best.
The application window for the additional CPSGS funding will open early in 2019.