Alan Gallagher: Farm Modernisation Programme takes 40 days off calving index
““Applying for a Farm Modernisation Programme grant yielded real bottom line benefits for our 200 cow dairy enterprise,” reports Alan Gallagher of Dungannon.
Alan and his father David obtained financial support under the Farm Modernisation Programme towards the cost of buying a Heatime Heat Detection System complete with cow collars and transponders.
“This impressive Italian innovation has helped us bring the calving index down by 40 days across our pedigree Holstein herd a major step forward in improving efficiency. A terrific cow management tool Heatime saves us checking so often for cows coming on heat. The time saved is now better spent getting other farm work done.
“Heatime detects uncharacteristically high or low activity levels by cows and relays this information back to the computer. This makes it easier to identify the best time to inseminate.”
Alan found the Farm Modernisation Programme application and claim process relatively straightforward with the 40% grant on the first £10,000 spent coming through on time.
“This financial support really helped us to improve efficiency and animal welfare and I would encourage others to apply. It was important when the Farm Modernisation Programme was announced to consider which investment made possible by a grant, would contribute most improvement to our farm, lifestyle and the animal welfare of our herd.”
Dr Andrew Kerr from Countryside Services Ltd commented that, “Farm businesses with a DARD Category 1 Farm Business Identification Number can now apply for financial support under Tranche 3 of the Farm Modernisation Programme. I would encourage farmers planning to make an application to carefully consider their modernisation options and how these should be financed, during the 6 week application period.
It is important that they carefully read the Explanatory Booklet which sets out the requirements of the Programme and details the items eligible for financial support. If farmers have any queries regarding the Farm Modernisation Programme Tranche 3 or need assistance accessing the online application system we have staff ready to assist on the Countryside Agri-Rural Partnership Helpline tel: 0845 0267 535.”
“Farmers should note that only one application can be submitted per farm business. Applications can be made online via www.eugrants.org or hard copy application forms posted or handed into Countryside Agri-Rural Partnership or selected DARD offices. The maximum level of financial support available under the Programme is £4,000 with the minimum level of support £500. “
The Farm Modernisation Programme is funded by the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (DARD) and the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) under the Northern Ireland Rural Development Programme 2007-2013.