FARMERS AND crofters should take advantage of ScotGov's new green scheme to improve business efficiency in line with climate change targets, land agents Strutt and Parker are advising.

Applications for the newly announced Sustainable Agriculture Capital Grant Scheme opened on Monday (September 7), offering grants of up to £20,000 to farmers and crofters to purchase specific items of agricultural equipment which will help to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and support a shift to sustainable farming and land use.

Capital items that will be supported by the scheme include a range of livestock handling systems, weighing equipment, EID devices, calving detectors, precision-farming equipment, low emission slurry application systems, slurry store covers and very flexible tractor tyres.

Head of farming at Strutt and Parker in Scotland, Mary Munro, said: “Although the list of eligible items is relatively limited, the scheme could be a valuable opportunity for farmers who were already thinking of investing in this type of equipment.

“The government has also chosen to base grants on standard costs, which will save farmers’ time and effort as they will not be required to gather quotes.”

Rural economy secretary Fergus Ewing commented on the £10m pot which has been dedicated to the green scheme: “We know farmers and crofters want to contribute to our climate change ambitions and to cut their emissions and farm more sustainably. Helping them to change their practice by ensuring they have access to the right equipment, tools and knowledge is key. The new £10 million Sustainable Agriculture Capital Grant Scheme will provide support to do this," he insisted.

“These investments will also help support and create jobs and opportunities across the rural economy, including in remote and island communities.”