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Defra unveils more details of slurry storage grants

9th Jun 2022 / By Alistair Driver

Defra has announced more details about the new slurry storage grants that will be launched later this year, as part of the Farming Investment Fund.

Slurry 15"Though some farmers have plans, equipment and infrastructure in place to manage the nutrients in their slurry and manure well, others face significant financial barriers to having sufficient slurry storage. This is an area that has not been effectively regulated in the past. As part of the agricultural transition, we want this to change," the Department said in a blog.

Defra's Thomas Proudfoot said Defra had designed the new grant alongside a number of other measures to help livestock farmers make use of their manure and organic nutrients, backed up by 'better advice and fair, effective regulation of the rules over the agricultural transition period'.

The grant

The grant will help livestock farmers already using a slurry system to upgrade their slurry storage, to reach six months' storage capacity and to cover grant funded stores with impermeable covers.

Six months' storage will help farmers go beyond the requirements for a minimum of four months storage in the 'Storing silage, slurry and agricultural fuel oil rules;  meet the Farming rules for water and spread slurries to meet crop needs, rather than wasting them because of a lack of storage, Mr Proudfoot said. 

All pig, dairy and beef farmers already using a slurry system can apply. You can use the grant to:

  • replace existing stores that are no longer fit for purpose 
  • build additional storage, if your current stores are compliant  
  • expand otherwise compliant storage, for example by adding another ring to a steel tank

You can choose from multiple store types and find one to suit the needs of your farm, including slurry lagoons, steel and concrete ring tanks and rectangular concrete stores.

The grant will cover 50% of eligible costs, while Defra has changed the minimum and maximum grant amounts from previous rounds of the Farming Investment Fund - lowering the minimum grant to £25,000 to help smaller farms and capping the maximum at £250,000 so it can fund fund more projects.

You must use the grant to reach at least six months storage capacity based on your current herd, and the stores must meet regulatory and build standards.

You can go beyond six months storage capacity but Defra will cap the grant contribution at six months. Farmers will need to maintain six months storage capacity on your farm as a condition of the grant funding agreement, meaning appropriate action will be needed if you change your herd size in the future.

All grant funded stores must also be fitted with an impermeable cover, which Defra said was an important step to prevent rainfall entering stores and to reduce air pollution. However, you don’t need to do this if your farm already uses a slurry acidification system that reduces the pH to 6 or below at the point of storage.  

Stores that remain part of your compliant storage capacity don’t need to be covered as a condition of the grant. You cannot use the grant to retrofit a cover onto an existing store without also expanding the store in the first round, but you can apply for covers for existing stores under Countryside Stewardship.

More details, including how to apply can be found HERE

Defra will be publishing further details on the grant over the summer ahead of applications opening in the autumn.