• Six-month storage requirement
• Protected sites will be prioritised
• Goal to meet clean air strategy
Grants of up to £250,000 each are being made available for farmers to upgrade their slurry storage facilities.
The slurry infrastructure grant scheme will open for applications this autumn – for landowners and tenant farmers to replace, build new or expand existing slurry stores to provide six months of storage.
Landowners and tenant farmers with less than six months’ storage will be eligible to apply for a grant ranging from £25,000 to £250,000. This can be used to help replace, build new or expand existing slurry stores to provide six months of storage.
Successful applicants could receive a maximum 50% grant towards the cost of a range of slurry store types, impermeable slurry store covers and extra equipment like pumps, pipes and safety equipment.
Defra said the new grants would help livestock farmers in England upgrade their slurry storage and nutrient management systems. In so doing, the money would help reduce water and air pollution from slurry.
Farmers can check their slurry storage requirements based on current animal numbers using tools such as the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board’s slurry wizard at www.bit.ly/slurrywizard.
This is the first round of grant funding from the Rural Payments Agency for slurry storage. Applications this autumn will consist of two stages – the first to prioritise applications before a full second-stage application.
The scheme will focus on projects that have the most significant environmental impact – including those near protected sites. The RPA will provide more details on prioritised locations before applications open.
The Royal Association of British Dairy Farmers suggested eligible livestock producers should seek expert help in the the design and location of any slurry stores should a new facility be required.
RABDF chairman Di Wastenage said: “We have been looking forward to the launch of this grant scheme which will provide dairy farmers with the opportunity to really think about their future storage needs.
“We urge farmers to prepare for this first stage of grants by checking their current slurry storage capacity and, if they think they may be eligible, to start enquiring about relevant slurry infrastructure and necessary planning permissions.
“By 2027, all slurry stores must be covered as part of the clean air strategy. so, even if you have enough storage capacity and may not be eligible for funding in round one, it is worth listening out to see whether you may be eligible in future rounds.”