Round 2 of Slurry Infrastructure Grant Scheme opens, with big funding boost
21st Nov 2023 / By Alistair Driver
Applications are now open for the second round of the Slurry Infrastructure Grant, with double the funding on offer compared with the first round.
A further £74 million is now available to help farmers invest in improved slurry infrastructure to tackle water pollution, improve air quality and make better use of organic nutrients.
As revealed a few weeks ago, based on feedback from farmers, a number of changes have made to the scheme that make it more accessible to pig farmers. This include an increase from six to eight months’ storage covered by the grants, while grants will also be available towards slurry separators and retrofitting covers onto existing stores.
Farmers can apply for grants of £25,000 to £250,000 to replace, expand, build extra and cover slurry stores, and fund equipment such as separators, reception pits and agitators.
With more than double the funding on offer than the first round of the scheme to help meet increased demand, the second round of the scheme forms part of a total £200 million being invested in infrastructure and equipment to tackle agricultural pollution from slurry over the agricultural transition period.
- Farmers can apply for the second round of the Slurry Infrastructure Grant HERE
- Defra is hosting farming webinar coming up on Thursday, where farmers interested in applying will be able to put questions to the team working on the grants.
If oversubscribed, funding will be prioritised in areas where coordinated action is most urgently needed to reduce water and air pollution from farming. Defra said this will ensure available public money is targeted to areas where it can make the biggest improvement to environmental outcomes. The priority areas have been significantly widened compared to round one to meet more demand.
Farming Minister Mark Spencer said: “It’s vital farmers are supported to make the environmental improvements I know so many want to make. Our Slurry Infrastructure Grant is helping farmers to invest in infrastructure which is often costly but can deliver big benefits for our waterways and air quality, while also cutting their input costs.”
Yorkshire pig producer Joe Dewhirst, a recipient of the first round of the Slurry Infrastructure Grant, said: “The Slurry Infrastructure Grant is helping me replace my old earth banked slurry lagoon with a new precast circular slurry store, which will help me manage my slurry better and reduce emissions from the farm.”
The grant will enable more farmers to go beyond existing storage requirements, supporting better compliance with regulation and more effective use of organic nutrients.
Farmers are obliged to have a minimum of four months slurry storage in the rules for storing silage, slurry and agricultural fuel oil, and five (cattle) or six (pigs) months in Nitrate Vulnerable Zones. The Farming Rules for Water also require farmers to plan nutrient applications to meet soil and crop need.