New grants of up to £250k for farmers to invest in slurry storage

Farmers will be able to apply for grants of £25,000 - £250,000 towards the cost of slurry stores, covers and supporting equipment
Farmers will be able to apply for grants of £25,000 - £250,000 towards the cost of slurry stores, covers and supporting equipment

Grants of up to £250,000 is being made available to farmers in England to help them overcome current financial barriers to investing in slurry storage on farm.

The funding, announced by Defra of Wednesday (23 November), aims to help farmers prevent water and air pollution while making the best of organic nutrients.

Grants of between £25,000 - £250,000 will go toward the cost of building, replacing or expanding slurry storage to achieve six months capacity.

Around half of slurry stores are not fit-for-purpose, forcing farmers to spread slurry when there is no crop need, wasting valuable fertiliser and causing preventable pollution.?

This means many farms can end up failing to comply with their legal obligations for storage and spreading of slurry.

The first round of the Slurry Infrastructure grant, which will be administered by the Rural Payments Agency (RPA), opens for applications on Tuesday 6 December.

The total funding pot is £13 million, and it will be available for livestock farmers to build six months of slurry storage capacity.

Defra farming minister Mark Spencer said many farmers were put off by high infrastructure costs and difficulty accessing finance.

"The grant will tackle this, helping farmers to invest in future-proof slurry storage that supports thriving farms while cutting pollution and allowing nature to prosper."

Responding to the grant, the NFU said adequate slurry storage was essential for farmers to continue protecting water courses and improve water and air quality.

The union's deputy president Tom Bradshaw said: "Farmers want and can do more to cut pollution levels and this grant will go a long way to supporting that.

“Though some farmers have plans, equipment and infrastructure in place to manage the nutrients in their slurry and manure, others face significant financial barriers to having sufficient slurry storage.

“The NFU has been working closely with Defra on the development of the scheme and will continue to do so to ensure as many farmers as possible are able to access this support."

The scheme is open for farmers across England and offers 50% match funding between £25,000 and £250,000.

The Slurry Infrastructure Grant online checker will open on 6 December 2022 and close on 31 January 2023.