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Cornish farmer warns he is 'still in the dark' over Brexit

Cornish farmer warns he is 'still in the dark' over Brexit

Published by Emma Carton at 6:48am 8th June 2018. (Updated at 8:58am 8th June 2018)

A Cornish farmer has told Pirate FM that fear of the unknown is one of his biggest worries over Brexit.

Many warn they are still in the dark over how cash subsidies will be replaced, as day two of the Royal Cornwall Show gets underway.

Pirate FM caught up with Will Palmer, who farms on the Roseland Peninsula, about his fears for when Britain leaves the EU.

He said: "Subsidies are going to be cut, which is a big income for us, and we still don't know how they're going to be replaced.

"There is going to be a 'form of' but it's still unknown, which is very worrying considering we are so close to d-day".

Will added: "There's very little we can do if I'm honest. We're very lucky - we're a family farm and we don't have to employ anyone.

"Anyone that needs to employ people, like the dairy farmers and the brocoli bed people, they have a massive problem getting staff. Until it's all sorted out, there's nothing we can do".

The minister in charge will visit the Wadebridge showground on Thursday, as he announces farmers and rural businesses in the south-west will benefit from £7 million in small grants.

Across the country, more than 3,500 grants worth £23.5 million have been allocated from the Countryside Productivity Small Grants scheme.

The scheme will help farmers to purchase the equipment they need to make their businesses more productive, with grants available to aid electronic identification of livestock, improve the application of manures, and introduce guidance systems to aid precision farming.

George Eustice said: "It is fantastic to see this scheme has proven so popular, with a collective number of grants now worth £23.5 million, and nearly a third of this funding going towards farms and businesses across the South West.

"The equipment on the market today can revolutionise farms, saving time and increasing yields. This funding will enable farmers, regardless of the size of their business, to access some of the best kit available".

How does the scheme work?

Projects which fall under the CPSG scheme include state of the art equipment such as the Shallow Injections System which can inject slurry directly into the soil surface thereby reducing ammonia emissions, increasing the uptake of nitrogen in plants and enhancing silage quality.

The scheme, which closed for applications on 14 March, initially allocated £15 million to contribute to the cost of farm equipment to boost productivity on farms. However due to the high number of quality applications Defra has increased the funding to £23.5 million. Farms and businesses in Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, Somerset, Wiltshire and Gloucestershire are set to receive almost one third of the total allocation.

How will farmers benefit?

There is equipment specific to cattle, sheep and pig farmers, as well as precision farming and resource management and efficiency equipment designed to make the lives of arable and livestock farmers easier.

The Small Grant scheme is one element within the £200 million package of RDPE funding announced last summer, which aims to boost growth and create jobs in the rural economy.

You can follow all the action from inside the Wadebridge showground on Pirate FM's live blog.

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