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03 Grant Aid Countryside Productivity Scheme W e are probably all aware of the frustrations that have come with the Basic Payment Scheme a failure to deliver the new online system and reverting to a paper application has led to the movement of the deadline to 15 June. In the background whilst BPS has been taking our attention a productivity grant has been available and remains so until 30 June. There are two types of grant dictated by the level of funding available. The smaller is a grant of 2500 - 35000 and the larger is available for between 35000 and 1000000. For both of these the grant level is 40 of the capital cost of the project. Who can apply Farmers woodland owners and forestry contractors Whats available There are a many categories and items within these that are available some options below Animal productivity health and welfare pig handling systems and calving detectors Arable and horticultural productivity remote crop sensors and crop robotics Forestry productivity woodland harvesting and extraction Resource management water management and slurry application Below is some information on just two of the areas available within this grant water and woodlands to nd out more on these and the other areas to take advantage of go to httpswww.gov.ukgovernmentcollections countryside-productivity-scheme Water Efciency The idea of this area of the grant is to encourage water savings and irrigation efciencies. Examples of what is available for grant aid under this category are below Soil moisture and water consumption software Remote soil moisture monitoring sensors Trickle irrigation tapes pipes and hoses New reservoirs The water source used to improve efciencies must not be mains supplied the eligible sources include boreholes surface water abstraction points peak ow only rainwater recycled or harvested water and grey water. It is a requirement of this area of the grant that you provide evidence that there will be water savings of at least 5. Woodland Productivity This category of the grant is geared towards improving the productivity of woodlands and realise their economic value. Examples of the type of equipment that is available under this area are found below Self-propelled wood chippers Tractor-mounted rewood processors and wood chippers Mobile saw benches Chip-screening equipment Items under this category that are ineligible are chainsaws standard or small scale tractors tipping at bed and box trailers wood-red boilers Remember if you own woodland looking to improve its productivity and therefore take advantage of this grant you must have a woodland management plan. The grant deadline is coming up so if there are areas of interest to your business then please get in touch with the Agrii consultancy team to discuss further. Improvements to be found in new varieties D espite some perceptions that breeders are not making any advances in the breeding of cereals or oilseeds in recent years. One has to remember that we are facing some signicant changes in the pressures that farmers and varieties have to face. Light Leaf Spot is a problem to many more farmers these days than it was 5 years ago. Good Septoria resistance has been invaluable to some growers in the West and so have varieties that help reduce the incidence of blackgrass through their growth habit been in the East. What benets do the latest wheat and oilseed rape varieties bring Taking the wheat rst two new varieties have been added to the bread making section of the Recommended List. KWS Trinity has been added to the list principally because of its excellent Rust resistance. Plus it has a yield to match Skyfall. In Agrii trials it has also shown a better Septoria resistance than the RL data shows. Secondly KWS Lili. Those who would normally be looking at feed wheat varieties should not dismiss this variety just because it sits in the milling wheat section. It has the yield potential up there with the best feed varieties it has a good Septoria score and could well get you a few pounds premium into a mill or a better export price than a hard feed wheat. The headline variety in the feed section will be Reection. It ticks a lot of boxes. It is good to see a variety with a decent specic weight and a high yield. A lot of the recent introductions havent managed to do both. Maturity is similar to JB Diego again this hasnt been the trend in recent years. The latest varieties to hit the market in the oilseed rape sector can be found on the Candidate list. This is where there have been some denite genetic improvements. For the last few years nding varieties with a good Light Leaf Spot resistance has been a tad difcult but there are some this year that denitely show promise. If you are looking for a conventional variety then Nikita has a lot going for it. Gross output including a good oil content is certainly right up the top. But the 8 for Light Leaf Spot is going to attract a lot of people too. Currently the best resistance in a conventional variety is around the 6 mark so a denite improvement. In the hybrid category Alizze also has an 8 for Light Leaf Spot and the high gross output and high oil content of Nikita. Once again this is a signicant improvement over recommended varieties. Growers should also keep an eye out for the latest from the Dekalb stable DK Exalte. One year behind Nikita and Alizze in trials it also has excellent Light Leaf Spot resistance. But in addition it has the Stem Canker resistance of DK Expower. All in all there are improvements worth considering in this years new varieties. Better agronomics may help with costs of production whilst the yield potential should help optimise the nancial returns. Seed Environmental Barry Barker - Arable Seed Product Manager