The grants are awarded by the EBLEX Better Returns Programme (BRP) to groups of English beef and sheep farmers who want to adopt and evaluate an element of best practice on farm, or try out a new piece of technology, which could lead to improved returns for their livestock enterprise.

The funding, which is offered over a one-year period and has a ceiling of £5,000, is designed to allow groups of three or more farmers to get technical help to set up their project and cover some of the associated costs. These costs could include data collection and analysis, or advice on the best approach to address an issue on their farms.

“Nobody knows the challenges affecting beef and sheep producers better than the farmers themselves and there is no substitute for trying out potential solutions on farm,” said EBLEX head of industry development Chris Lloyd.

“By awarding these grants we hope to facilitate projects which will result in valuable learnings that we can then share with the wider beef and sheep industry.”

Applications for 2015/16 FIGS must be submitted by 7 February 2015. Proposals will be assessed and awarded by the beginning of March and projects will begin on 1 May 2014 following completion of contracts.