The Government has offered to fund investment in improved slurry management ahead of a major grant scheme later this year, which is expected to be for new or substantially enlarged or reconstructed stores with an impermeable, fixed, flexible or floating cover.

As of this Autumn, farmers, land managers, foresters or horticulturalists will be able to apply for funding to support investment in slurry systems from the Farming Investment Fund.

Air and water quality concerns are increasing, and regulations to prevent pollution are becoming ever tighter – especially regarding phosphates that can leach into the water.

Nitrate Vulnerable Zone (NVZ) rules now apply across most of the UK, and livestock producers expect rules to come into force that will require six months of slurry storage. In addition, the Farming Rules for Water bring more rules for slurry spreading. However, it is confirmed that Autumn manure spreading has not been banned.

Building new slurry storage will require significant capital investment. To help with this, the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) will be offering grants to help with creating covered slurry stores. Clay-lined or earth bank lagoons might also qualify for a grant, if they have leak protection.

As one commentator remarked, farmers might as well take advantage of the grants to help pay for the law change. However, the grant scheme is unlikely to cover the full cost of works, which could cause problems if the landlord or tenant cannot fund the remainder.

For more information or advice on related matters, please contact Smailes Goldie today.

Posted in Agriculture, Blog.