DEFRA has announced more details of their upcoming Slurry Storage Grants. The grants will be available to apply for later in the year, however the information provided yesterday will help you to plan for your farm and to get ready for the application process.
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.
You must use the grant to reach at least 6 months storage capacity based on your current herd, and the stores must meet regulatory and build standards.
You can go beyond 6 months storage capacity but the grant contribution will be capped at 6 months so that more farmers can be supported with the grant. You’ll need to maintain 6 months storage capacity on your farm as a condition of the grant funding agreement – meaning you’ll need to take appropriate action if you change your herd size in the future.
All grant funded stores must also be fitted with an impermeable cover. This is an important step to prevent rainfall entering stores and to reduce air pollution. 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.
The grant will cover 50% of eligible costs of upgrading or replacing your slurry system to reach the 6 month storage capacity threshold.
The minimum contribution will be £25,000 and the maximum contribution is capped at £250,000.
Applying for the grant will be a two stage process with the eligibility checker opening in autumn with the full application process being available over winter. The expectation is that the demand for the grant and therefore application numbers to be high. DEFRA have stated that they will award the grants where the environmental benefit is the largest in the first instance.
Should your application this year be unsuccessful the grant will be available over the next few years so more opportunities to apply wil be available.
Applications for the grants are not yet open, however we would advise you to spend the next few months considering your options and planning for the arrival of the grant, and considering whether your solution will be liable for planning permission.
For more information on the scheme you can visit the DEFRA website.