Join Defra Slurry Infrastructure Grant seminar today
7th Dec 2022 / By Alistair Driver
Defra is hosting a seminar today, which will provide insights into the new Slurry Infrastructure Grant scheme.
The Departmenbt has announced that from today, December 6, farmers in England will be able to apply for grants of up to £250,000 to improve their slurry storage. Defra is making £13 million available for livestock farmers to build six months of slurry storage capacity.
Today, Defra will host a webinar between 2.30-4pm. You will be able to put your questions to the policy leads during the session.
- You can register to attend the webinar here.
Match funded grants of between £25,000 and £250,000 will be available to help increase or improve storage capacity up to six months-worth of slurry and/or dirty water with the application window opening from December 6 to January 31.
The grant is competitive and demand is expected to be high. The RPA will prioritise projects that have the greatest environmental outcomes and, depending on demand, applicants will be prioritised in areas where action is most needed to reduce nutrient pollution from agriculture and restore habitats.
RPA have already designated areas located near protected sites that need coordinated action to reduce air and water pollution from agriculture, and you can see exactly where these are by using the Magic website (https://magic.defra.gov.uk/)
But NPA chief executive Lizzie Wilson urged producers who are eligible to apply for the SIG, no matter where they’re located. "Just because certain areas are prioritised does not mean producers in other areas won't be successful," she said.
Writing in the latetst issue of Pig World, Lizzie wrote: "As this is the first time Defra has run a national slurry storage grant for many years, the expectation is that demand will be high. Therefore, applications will be prioritised according to environmental benefit.
"We’ve been part of a stakeholder group recruited to help co-design the grant with the Defra Future Farming and Countryside Programme team, working through each stage to agree who should be eligible, what the grant should cover and how the application process should function.
"Although not perfect, the scheme is already far more inclusive than originally intended - for example lagoons will now be funded and there are far more cover options, although they must still be impermeable to align with the Clean Air Strategy.
"I’ve been delighted at just how receptive the Defra team have been; always acknowledging our concerns or suggestions and trying to incorporate them as far as possible. We’ll continue to be involved in the further development of the scheme, past this initial round.
"Which is a really important point; this is the just the first round of a multi-year scheme. The priority is to bring everyone (the high-risk sectors like dairy in particular, who are nowhere near compliant!) up to the same standard of compliance as the pig sector asap, hence why Defra are funding up to six-months storage capacity.
"I appreciate this will be disappointing for producers who were hoping to benefit from the grant but who aren’t eligible as they already have six months storage capacity, but we have discussed this numerous times and Defra are acutely aware that more needs to be offered to include the pig sector in the coming years.
"They are extremely cognisant that we need financial support too, but they want to get it right in that whatever is offered under the scheme is actually of value to producers, considering future policy ambitions.
"As this is a multi-year scheme there should hopefully be opportunities for upwards of six months storage, and perhaps for arable farmers to be eligible to link in with local pig farms in subsequent years.
I just hope that as many producers as possible are in a position to be able to take advantage of such a rare opportunity. We’ve made it clear to Defra, who are of course already well aware, just how financially constrained many producers are, even with the help of a 50% match funded grant!"