The second round of the Slurry Infrastructure Grant (SIG) is now open for applications, and closes on 17th January 2024. You have a very short time frame to complete your initial application – especially with Christmas and the New Year holidays falling between now and deadline day.
Slurry Infrastructure Grant application process – first steps
The first step is relatively straightforward: you just submit an initial expression of interest. This is certainly worth doing if you are a dairy farmer who does not currently have 6 months winter storage and you intend to continue dairy farming for the medium to long term.
Key points about Slurry Infrastructure Grants
- It provides grant funding of between 25k to £250k.
- The grant rates are based up to 50% of the standard ‘reference’ cost/actual cost (whichever is the lower).
- After the grants you must be able to demonstrate at least 6 months of winter slurry storage for cattle, or 8 months for pigs.
- It covers a variety of store types and some ancillary equipment, including reception pits, pumps/mixers, safety fencing, gantries, and more.
- Any funded store must have an impermeable cover. You can apply for a cover on existing fit-for-purpose stores where this brings you up to 6 months of storage.
- It also now covers mechanical slurry separators and temporary storage for the solid stackable material.
The initial online application is relatively straightforward, but you will certainly need to know how much additional capacity you are applying for.
- We recommend that you apply if you are a dairy farmer intending to remain in dairy production for the medium to long term and have less than 6 months winter storage for all slurry/dirty water.
- Start your planning process. Work out how much additional storage you will need.
- Make sure you apply for the grant before 17th January 2024.
- If you need help with these points do contact us as soon as possible.
After your initial application
If you get through the initial stage (Stage1) you will be asked to complete Stage 2, the storage location and design assessment. This will be assessed by the Environment Agency (EA). You will need to complete this stage by the end of September 2024. If your bid is successful, you will move to Stage 3, the full application, which you must submit by the end of June 2025.
Key points when planning your manure management
- All new or expanded slurry stores must be built to SSAFO regulatory standards and will have to be approved by the EA before you start any construction.
- All stores will need full planning permission. If you can achieve this in less than 6 months you are doing very well!
- In most cases the planning process now requires an assessment of ammonia emissions as part of the application process. This SCAIL (Simple Calculation of Impact Limits) report will likely require a cover or crust on any new slurry store to get through this process.
[Top tip: Plan ahead – these three steps take time.]
- Think about your future land application methods first. These will likely be injection/trailing hose or slurry shoe. Note that high-emission splash plate spreading will be banned from 2025. Considering which application method, you will use will better inform your decision on the type of storage you will need.
- Slurry stores with covers do not suit sand-bedded systems.You may need to reconsider your current bedding system.
- Floating covers do not suit unseparated slurries. If you are going for lagoon storage with a floating cover, you will need to plan for mechanical separation.
- Be aware that manure management is now a lot more involved than simple storage. Consequently, you need to be thinking about:
- land application methods
- ammonia emissions
- the planning process
- the regulations
- farm nutrient planning and the time scales in getting there
Do not delay your Slurry Infrastructure Grant application – talk to Promar
All-in-all, the Slurry Infrastructure Grant application process can be a bit daunting, but we are here to help. If you’d like any advice or assistance with your application, please contact your local Promar consultant as soon as possible. Be aware that time is of the essence, so that together we can make a successful and timely application.
Alternatively, why not contact me, Paul Henman, on 07971 119034. I am a Principal Consultant at Promar International, and specialise in dairy farm infrastructure, including manure storage and management. Alternatively, drop me an email, email@example.com or fill in the form below.