Farmers looking to get their hands on computerised calf feeders may soon be able do so, thanks to a new £30 million grant available in 2019.
The Countryside Productivity Small Grants Scheme (CPSGS) will double it's funding from last year, and it's claimed that the grant will help farmers purchase the necessary technology to make their businesses more productive and environmentally efficient.
The scheme is open to farmers who want to move into computerised feeding for the first time, and also those who wish to replace older machines.
Farmers that have made the move to computerised feeding report a host of benefits – not least the fact that these machines take the variables out of the young calf rearing process, which leads to better calf health and growth.
Volac, the young animal nutrition specialists who sell the machines, said that: "When the Government launched their first round of CPSGS funding in February 2018 we experienced a surge of interest in our Forster Technik and Urban computerised calf milk feeding machines.
"Now there’s a further opportunity during 2019 for calf rearers to seek Government financial support to improve the efficiency of their youngstock rearing operation," said Volac's business manager Stacey Best.
Volac argues that, while the feeders are not a substitute for good management practises, they reduce labour hours and allow farmers to engage in more productive practises, rather than moving milk around in buckets.
According to Volac, over 100 farmers throughout the UK invested in computerised calf feeders during 2018; they believe that number will rise with the support networks they've set up to deal with enquiries from farmers.
The application process for funding will begin early next year. The company encourages any farmers interested in the technology to contact a local Volac business manager.