Farmers focus on machinery to lower input costs and improve sustainability

You are currently viewing Farmers focus on machinery to lower input costs and improve sustainability

Farmers are showing increased interest in machinery and equipment that will help them to farm more sustainably and lower their costs of production.

With soaring costs looking like they’re here to stay, growers are searching for ways to improve efficiencies and lower their inputs, say business advisers at the Midlands Machinery Show.

“People are interested in machinery that will help them be more efficient and reduce input costs, while still allowing them to continue with the same farming system,” says Alex Olivant, farm business consultant at Active Business Partnerships in Nottinghamshire.

“A lot of people are looking at fertiliser spreaders so they can use variable rate applications, and also direct drills, which used to require a lot of paperwork for grant funding, but now applications are much quicker,” she adds.

“There is 100% more interest in efficiency and what the new environmental schemes will push towards. Better efficiency is better for the environment and your back pocket, so it’s a win-win.”  Visitors to the Midlands Machinery Show on 16-17 November will be able to get plenty of advice from farm business consultants, while also seeing the machinery up close and talking to equipment manufacturers.

Sam Tugwell, a regional advisor at Velcourt who covers a large area surrounding Leicestershire, helped a number of clients last winter to access government capital grants, and will be exhibiting at this year’s event.

“Mostly clients were using the capital grant for reduced input machinery, like direct drills,” says Mr Tugwell. “It wasn’t people who were having a wholesale change to the way they farm, it was those who were upgrading their existing direct drills.

“Farmers are also showing interest in inter-row hoes for cereal crops, and rotary hoes that remove weeds from standing crops,” he adds.

He expects the trend for machinery that reduces inputs and environmental impact to increase in the coming years.

Get ready for next machinery grant funding round

The next round of the government’s Farming Equipment and Technology Fund is expected to open in autumn/winter 2022, according to the NFU. Advisers expect it will be similar or the same as Round One which was open to farmers, contractors and foresters in England.

Applicants were able to choose from a pre-determined expanded list of 120 standard cost eligible items, including for livestock and resource efficiency. Grants range from £2,000 to £25,000, with £50,000 over the lifetime of scheme.

About the show

The Midlands Machinery Show is organised by the Newark and Nottinghamshire Agricultural Society (NNAS). It is a platform for small, medium and large agricultural businesses to show their diverse range of machinery and innovation to those who work and have an interest in agriculture. It typically attracts around 300 exhibitors, including machinery manufacturers, regional dealers, and supporting businesses.

NNAS is an agricultural charity; its objectives include promoting and organising the show, as well as supporting young people with careers in agriculture, through its annual apprentice awards.

Contact for further information

Elizabeth Halsall
Events, Show and Development Manager
Newark and Nottinghamshire Agricultural Society
Organiser of Midlands Machinery Show
T: 01636 705 796
E: [email protected]