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Defra sets out plans for slurry investment grants

21st Feb 2022 / By Alistair Driver

Defra has set out its plans to support farmers in England wishing to invest in new slurry systems. 

slurryIn a blog, the Department explained that it wants to give farmers the choice to apply for grant support across a range of slurry management equipment and technology.  

Rather than setting up a separate slurry investment schemes, as was the original plan, it now intends to put 'the majority of slurry grants available in one place' by adding to and improving the Farming Investment Fund offer.

"To be clear, the same investment opportunities will be available, but we will deliver them through our existing scheme rather than setting up a separate service for slurry," it said.

"We will keep working with farming organisations and others to make sure farmers are aware of this, and that nobody misses out if they are looking for a specific slurry investment scheme."

The NPA and its members will continue to be heavily involved NPA in every element in the development of the scheme.

The first round of the Farming Equipment and Technology Fund (the small grants part of the Farming Investment Fund) offered funding for the best available slurry techniques, including separators and low-emission spreaders.

Defra said it will soon ask people to share their views on how we can improve this offer in future rounds.

In January, it launched a new offer for slurry acidification projects, under the Improving Farm Productivity strand of the Farming Transformation Fund. This is the large capital grants part of the Farming Investment Fund.

Applicants have until March 16 to submit applications via the on-line checker.

Details on how to apply can be found HERE

Defra's Agricultural Transition Plan, published in autumn 2020, said it would offer grant support over several years to help farmers reduce pollution from slurry through a new slurry investment scheme. 

"Since then, we’ve been working with farmers and the wider industry on how best to do this.  
Not all farms need to make the same investment.While this is was a positive start, there were gaps in our offer," it said. 

"So, over the winter, we brought together a small group of farmers and industry representatives to help us co-design a new slurry infrastructure theme, to offer under the Farming Investment Fund from Autumn 2022."

Explaining what it will be funding, the blog went on: "Adding to what is already provided under the Farming Investment Fund, we propose offering significant grant contributions towards covered slurry store construction projects, to enable farmers to get to 6 months storage capacity.  

"We think applications should be open to all livestock farmers in England (dairy, beef, pig) already on a slurry system." 

Defra that this will be a substantial, multi-year offer, with 'multiple chances for farmers to apply to fit in with their situations'. 

"Though the grant will be open to all, if we have excess applications in the first round, we are considering prioritising those projects which maximise environmental outcomes," the blog added.