VFF chief executive Graeme Ford has written to farmers, telling them telling them “the number of applications in rounds one and two greatly exceeded the money available.”
He said a “more simple and streamlined” process for applicants was now being introduced.
“The application form has been amended with the number of questions reduced and the introduction of a more structured section relating to the projects being put forward for funding,” Mr Ford said.
“This change was made to ensure the level of detail regarding the description of a project, the cost and the benefits of the project would be more consistent across applications.
“Additionally, the panel has decided that the maximum grant will be reduced to $10,000.”
When the fund was launched in September, last year, farmers from south-east Australia were encouraged to apply for grants of up to $20,000, for on-farm works, including upgrades, consultants or productivity improvements.
Mr Ford said the number of applications in rounds one and two greatly exceeded the money available.
“This change will enable more farmers to be assisted whilst still providing an amount adequate to support a meaningful contribution to improving a farms’ operation.”
Previous applicants would not be automatically reconsidered for round three.
“If you wish to reply, you will need to resubmit a new application form.”
The VFF said in round one, 60 successful applicants received funding for their project or advice, through a $1 million contribution from Coles Nurture Fund.
The first round of submissions attracted strong interest with more than 600 applications.
The second round of Farmers' Fund once again attracted strong interest and 19 applicants were successful.
All applications were assessed by an independent selection panel made up of representatives from the VFF, the National Farmers Federation (NFF) and measured against key criteria as outlined in the Farmers’ Fund guidelines.