Productivity Grants for Farms in UK
Capital grants for farms include:
You can apply for a grant to improve or expand your slurry storage capacity and to cover your stores. You must use the grant to reach the grant storage requirements:
- 6 months for beef and dairy
- 8 months for pigs
Investing in future-proofed slurry infrastructure will help to:
- Make better use of organic nutrients
- Improve water quality
- Improve air quality
- Reduce greenhouse gases
Who can apply or Slurry Infrastructure Grants and what can it pay for?
You can apply for a Slurry Infrastructure grant Round 2 if your farming system already produces slurry, and you farm pigs, beef or dairy. Both land owning and tenant farmers can apply. The slurry store must be built on land you own or farm as a tenant.
You can use the grant to pay for:
- Above-ground steel slurry stores
- Precast circular concrete slurry stores
- Earth bank lagoons, with or without synthetic liner
- Stores using precast rectangular concrete panels
- In-situ cast reinforced concrete stores
- Large volume supported slurry bags (over 2,500 cubic metres (m3))
Read more on who can apply for the slurry infrastructure grant
How to apply for the slurry infrastructure grant
You’ll need to follow this 3-stage application process:
Stage 1: Slurry wizard and online checker
You must first have a good understanding of your current and future slurry storage requirements. Use the slurry wizard tool to help you do this. You should use the latest version (October 2023 or later), updated by the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) and the Environment Agency.
You can then complete the online checker to see if you’re eligible and to check how much grant you might get, based on your storage needs.
If you wish to proceed you can submit your online application via the checker.
If demand is high, RPA will prioritise projects that have the greatest environmental outcomes based on location. You will be told if you have been shortlisted after the online checker closes.
Stage 2: Slurry store location and design assessment
If your project is shortlisted, RPA will ask you to complete a slurry store location and design assessment form.
This will be assessed by the Environment Agency to ensure you meet the grant storage requirements and regulations.
You must submit your slurry store location and design assessment form by 30 September 2024.
Stage 3: Full application
If the Environment Agency confirm that their location and design assessment is satisfactory, you will be asked to submit your full application. RPA will assess your project to make sure that it is viable, as well as the current financial viability of your business and how you will fund the project until you claim the grant.
You must submit your full application by 27 June 2025.
If your full application is eligible and you meet all the conditions, RPA will offer you a grant.
How much money you can apply for with the slurry infrastructure grant?
The minimum grant you can apply for is £25,000. The maximum grant is £250,000 for each applicant business, per round.
Read more on how to apply for the slurry infrastructure grant
|Above ground steel slurry store
|£31.50 per m3
|Precast circular concrete slurry store
|£26.17 per m3
|Earth bank lagoon without synthetic liner
|£10.08 per m3
|Earth bank lagoon with synthetic liner
|£18.22 per m3
|Store using precast rectangular concrete panels
|£72.74 per m3
|In situ cast reinforced concrete store
|£72.74 per m3
|Large volume permanently installed supported slurry bag
|£19.27 per m3
|Fixed flexible cover
|£32.17 per m2
|Floating flexible cover
|£7.99 per m2
|Screw Press separator
|Roller screen press separator
Plan your slurry storage: what you need to know
Slurry is defined by the Water Resources (Control of Pollution) (Silage, Slurry and Agricultural Fuel Oil) (England) Regulations 2010 (SSAFO) as: “liquid or semi-liquid matter composed of excreta produced by livestock while in a yard or building (including that held in wood chip corrals); or a mixture wholly or mainly consisting of livestock excreta, livestock bedding, rainwater and washings from a building or yard used by livestock, of a consistency that allows it to be pumped or discharged by gravity at any stage in the handling process”.
In the past, other terms were used to describe slurry of varying strengths or dilutions, such as dirty water and lightly fouled water. These are both forms of slurry.
You must make sure your storage calculation includes all forms of slurry as required by SSAFO. This includes:
- Runoff from stacked farmyard manures not in temporary field heaps
- Runoff from bedding materials, for example woodchips, straw-bedded corrals, stand-off pads
- Both fractions produced by weeping wall stores or strainer boxes
- Liquid leaking from the stackable material produced by separating slurry
- Rainwater that falls directly into a store or flows into store system
- Wash water from fouled concrete areas (including parlour washing)
- Rainwater runoff from fouled yards or concrete areas
In some circumstances, you may have a consent to discharge effluent from your farm (for example, parlour washings, yard run-off) directly to groundwater or surface waters. If you are in this position, for the purposes of the grant, you must count the discharge as slurry and feed it into storage calculations as it will need to be directed to your slurry store. Wash water and rainwater runoff can be kept in a separate store from your main slurry store but will still need to be stored and handled as slurry under storing slurry (SSAFO), nitrate vulnerable zone (NVZ) and farming rules for water (FRfW) regulations.
What you don't need to store as slurry:
- Water from farm buildings and yards where livestock do not have routine access, but are used for other farm activities (for example sprayer washing areas) if it does not drain into your slurry system
- Rainwater that falls onto uncontaminated parts of the yard or buildings, if it does not drain into your slurry system
- Runoff from temporary field heaps, if it does not drain into your slurry system
- The more solid material from a slurry separator, where this is dry enough to stack in a heap without leaking liquid
Your slurry storage calculation must include everything that will end up in your store. If your system will route rainwater from uncontaminated parts of the yard to your store, you must include this in your calculations.
Guidance If you use a mechanical separator:
Defra and the Environment Agency have produced guidance you must follow when using a mechanical separator.
By law, you must have enough storage to contain all the slurry you produce without your separator:
- For 4 months if you are outside a Nitrate Vulnerable Zone (NVZ)
- For 5 months if you are in a NVZ for cattle, sheep, goats, deer and horses, and 6 months for pigs and poultry
Following these rules means you will have enough storage if the separator fails or requires maintenance.
Slurry separators can be used to further reduce pressure on your stores once these legal minimums are met. By diverting only the liquid fraction of separated slurry to the store, you can create extra headroom in your main stores while safely managing the stackable material from the separator in a separate store or location. Use these standard figures to calculate what percentage will be diverted from your slurry store:
- 20% (by volume) for beef and dairy
- 15% (by volume) for pigs
When planning your storage requirement, you should check that you will have enough storage to meet:
- The legal minimums without the separator
- The grant storage requirements (6 or 8 months capacity) with the separator
Capital Grants 2023: Countryside Stewardship
Apply for capital items to benefit boundaries, trees and orchards, water and air priorities, and natural flood management.
Countryside Stewardship (CS) Capital Grants scheme is open for applications all year from 5 January 2023.
These grants are standalone capital grants available under CS which can also be used to support and complement CS Mid Tier, Higher Tier, Wildlife Offers and ES Higher Level Stewardship.
Applications will remain open until the funding is allocated. You can submit an application for each Single Business Identifier (SBI) that you manage.
New agreements cannot contain parcels that already have capital works which are incomplete or have not received their final payment.
Capital Grants are 3-year agreements
They offer capital items to achieve specific environmental benefits within 4 groups:
- Boundaries, trees and orchards (including the former hedgerows and boundaries grant items)
- Water quality
- Air quality
- Natural flood management
There is no limit on either the maximum amount for any application or the amount you can apply for in each of the 4 groups (boundaries, trees and orchards, water quality air quality and natural flood management).
If your application is successful, we will make you an agreement offer. If you accept the offer, you will enter into an agreement with the Rural Payments Agency (RPA).
A full list of items you can claim on is here: countryside stewardship grants information. These include:
- RP28: Roofing (sprayer washdown area, manure storage area, livestock gathering area, slurry stores, silage stores) £72.50/m/sq
- RP4: Livestock and machinery hardcore tracks £44.63/m
- RP15: Concrete yard renewal £33.64/m/sq
- FG2: Fencing £7.47 per metre (m)