Two farms in Worcestershire have benefited from a LEADER grant, allowing them both to purchase new equipment.
GC Hodgetts Ltd, an agricultural business, was handed £34,600 to put in place a controlling wheeling system to enable us to establish arable crops, using fixed wheelways, across the field.
Meanwhile Hill Court Farm in Pershore, a cattle farm, used the grant to buy a Mzuri strip till drill, that will make considerable savings on diesel per year. The drill will also improve soil structure and improve the habitat for many species by leaving stubble and cover crops on the ground.
GC Hodgetts is a family run agricultural business that was formed over 70 years ago, they farm through various agreements about 2800 acres, of arable crops for both food and AD plants.
Mr Hodgetts, the Director of the agricultural business said: "The LEADER grant enables us to be more successful at direct drilling the crops, or at least reducing the cultivation and cost. There has also been the added benefit of reduction in carbon loss from soil".
"The impact of the funding I hope will considerably reduce the amount of fossil fuel used to produce the crop and hopefully improve the nature of the soil".
Hill Court Farm in Pershore has been in Edward Righton's family for many generations. The mixed arable and beef farmer and his family have around 200 beef cattle, cider fruit orchards and around 500 acres of crops based at the farm.
Edward Righton, Owner of Hill Court Farm said: "Thanks to LEADER, we will be able to considerably reduce the amount of time and diesel used in the establishment of crops thanks to the new Mzuri strip till drill. We estimate that we will save around £7,000 worth of diesel per year".
LEADER is part of the Rural Development Programme for England and is delivered locally by Worcestershire County Council and the Worcestershire Local Action Group on behalf of Defra.
The focus of the LEADER programme is on growing the economies of rural communities by enabling local people to identify and implement solutions to local problems.
The project has received funding from the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development under the Rural Development Programme for England. The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs is the Managing Authority for the Rural Development Programme for England.