Slurry storage grants up to £250,000 opening for farmers

Farmers in England will be able to apply for the Slurry Infrastructure grant from 6 December.

The grant is designed to improve on-farm slurry storage, reduce pollution and improve use of organic matter.

The first round of funding will be overseen by the Rural Payments Agency (RPA) with £13m available for livestock farmers in total, while individual grants of between £25,000 and £250,000 are on offer.

See also: Nitrate vulnerable zone penalty concern for Welsh TB herds

Grants can go towards the cost of slurry stores, covers, pumps, agitators and safety equipment.

Funding can be used to build, expand or replace existing slurry storage for up to six months’ storage capacity. The application window for the first round of grants will close on 31 January 2023.

The RPA will be prioritising the projects with the most perceived environmental benefit, especially those that will restore natural habitats and reduce nutrient pollution from agriculture.

Paul Caldwell, RPA chief executive, said: “Improving slurry storage offers farmers an opportunity to reduce the environmental impact of their businesses and cut input costs.”

Who can apply?

Both landowners and tenant farmers can apply for the scheme, but tenants must have a tenancy that covers the whole five-year duration of the grant funding agreement.

Pork, beef and dairy systems are eligible to apply for the grant, but enterprises that are solely sheep, poultry or arable are not.

Defra farm minister Mark Spencer said: “We know livestock farmers want to invest in slurry systems that support quality food production and protect the environment, but many are put off by high infrastructure costs and difficulty accessing finance.

“The Slurry Infrastructure 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.”

NFU deputy president Tom Bradshaw said: “The farming industry has already made significant progress, with a 75% reduction in serious pollution incidents year on year compared with 2000.

“Farmers want to and can do more to cut pollution levels, and this grant will go a long way to support that.

“I would encourage farmers to look at what’s on offer with this scheme, consider the requirements for their farm and make their applications as quickly as possible. If accepted, they should give themselves as much time as possible to make the necessary planning and building arrangements.”

Full guidance on Slurry Infrastructure grants can be found on the Defra website.