Just 55 dairy farms in England have received Covid-19 support money from the Government’s Dairy Response Fund so far, according to the Rural Payments Agency (RPA).

The news comes after figures revealed that as of July 27, just 174 farmers had applied. So far, only 35 farms have received the maximum support of £10,000.

The scheme was due to close on Friday (August 14). However, has now been extended until September 11.

The criteria for the scheme remain the same with qualifying farmers having to demonstrate a reduction in the average price paid for their milk of 25% or more in April 2020 when compared with February 2020.

Successful applicants will be entitled to up to £10,000 each to cover 70% of their losses across April and May incurred as a result of a drop in price.

‘A busy time for dairy farmers’

A Government spokesperson said: “We understand this is a busy time for dairy farmers and many only recently received their May milk cheques.

“As such the deadline for applications has been extended from August to September 11 to provide farmers more time to apply.”

RABDF chairman Peter Alvis said: “Summer is typically a busy time for dairy farmers, so we are delighted the Government has taken the decision to extend the deadline.

“We know the criteria for the scheme is quite rigid but if you think you have a chance of claiming now is the time to do it, so don’t miss out.”