The Slurry Infrastructure grant helps dairy, beef, pig farmers in England invest in future-proofed slurry infrastructure and nutrient management systems, with an aim to help reducing water and air pollution risk from slurry.
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.
NFU Deputy President Tom Bradshaw said he was “pleased” to see the application window open and that the programme has been expanded to cover more areas.
If oversubscribed, funding will be prioritised in areas where coordinated action is most urgently needed to reduce water and air pollution from farming. The priority areas have been significantly widened compared to round one to meet more demand.
The initial online checker will be open until 17 January 2024.
Getting to grips with the offer
The increased budget will provide some farmers in England with an opportunity to invest in slurry systems, and boost their storage capacity to six months for livestock and dairy, and eight months for pigs.
Farming Minister Mark Spencer said it was 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.”
The new funding builds on work already being taken forward by farmers in the government’s Countryside Stewardship scheme such as separating dirty water and effluent from rainwater through roofing over manure stores to prevent contamination.
“The NFU continues to work closely with Defra on the development of the Slurry Infrastructure grant and we will continue to do so to ensure as many of our members as possible are able to access this type of funding support.”
NFU Deputy President Tom Bradshaw
Farmers can also apply for complementary options under the Sustainable Farming Incentive, including support to produce a Nutrient Management Plan, establish multi-species winter cover and buffer strips.
The NFU’s Deputy President added: “The NFU continues to work closely with Defra on the development of the Slurry Infrastructure Grant programme and we will continue to do so to ensure as many of our members as possible are able to access this type of funding support.
“Our hope is that many farmers will benefit from the grant including those in key catchments. But to enable this, it is essential that local planning authorities process applications as soon as possible.
“It’s now important for farmers to look at what’s on offer within this latest round, consider the requirements for their farm, and make their applications quickly and, if accepted, give themselves time to make the necessary planning and building arrangements.”
In addition to this funding there will be a further two rounds of the small grants Farming Equipment and Technology Fund – Productivity and Slurry theme, with £21 million set aside across these two rounds for slurry items (in addition to funding for other productivity items). The first of these two rounds is due to open in early 2024.