More than £3.5 million has been awarded to farmers in the south west, where 744 eligible applications worth £4,603,713 can be taken forward when farmers accept their offers with 449 applications coming from Devon and the other 295 from farmers in Cornwall.

In total, more than 3,600 farmers are set to benefit from £22 million in productivity-boosting equipment under round two of the government’s Countryside Productivity Small Grants scheme.

Under the scheme, farmers can apply for grants of between £3,000 and £12,000 to invest in new and innovative equipment – from livestock monitoring cameras to precision farming technology – which help businesses save time and money and improve productivity.

Farming minister George Eustice has confirmed that all eligible applications have been approved as part of round two of the successful scheme, with the Rural Payments Agency (RPA) writing to the 3,677 successful applicants from Monday, October 28.

The first round of funding opened in 2018, with £15 million spent to support farmers investing in technology to boost their productivity.

The announcement means that £37 million has been allocated to farmers in the scheme’s first two funding rounds, with a third and final funding round to open in autumn 2020.

Read more: Countryside Productivity Small Grants scheme second round open

Farming Minister George Eustice said: “The south west is synonymous with dairy farming, with Cornish cream and Devon milk enjoyed across the country and recognised internationally.

“It’s fantastic to see as many as 744 farmers in Devon and Cornwall signing up to this grants scheme, with over £4 million in funding going to farmers to spend on game-changing technology.

“As innovative equipment can be costly, this scheme exists to contribute to items such as weighing crates and heat detection systems which make life in the milking parlour easier, more efficient, and boost animal welfare.”

The RPA is encouraging farmers to speak to their suppliers to confirm the items they wish to order are available before accepting their grant by using the CPSG acceptance portal on GOV.UK by 10 November.

New items were added to the list of the equipment available for the second round of the Small Grants Scheme, with grants available to minimise soil compaction in fields, monitor ammonia levels in farm buildings, and increase machinery precision when applying slurry.

Farmers are encouraged to make early orders to leave time for deliveries to arrive and payment claims to be processed by the end of May 2020.