Slurry storage grants on offer
Farmers are being urged to apply for the Scottish Government slurry storage grant by the June 26 deadline.
The grant, which aims to help farmers bring their slurry capacity up to six months, offers contributions towards costs of building the store.
It also helps pay for the necessary ancillary fittings and assemblies, reception tank and transfer pumps.
Applicants are required to prepare a farm waste management plan, storage calculation and a steading drainage plan for the holding.
This needs to identify the additional storage capacity required in order to provide six months slurry storage.
Actions required to minimise the production of dirty water also require to be detailed.
Michael Halliday, farm business consultant at agents Youngs RPS, said: “This grant offers Scottish farmers a valuable opportunity to upgrade or renew their slurry storage facilities for future demands.
“Without doubt the livestock farming industry will experience significant changes during the next few years.
“Ensuring your f a rm infrastructure is sufficient for future requirements is vital for the sustainability of the business.
“However, it is also important to also value the immediate advantages of sufficient slurry storage.
“Farmers can benefit hugely from the greater flexibility offered by spreading slurry at the optimal time to meet crop requirements when nutrient uptake will be higher.
“This, in turn, reduces the risk of nitrates leaching and therefore makes the best use of the slurry nutrients.
“As a result, the need for bought in fertiliser is reduced which has the added benefit of reducing the farms overall carbon footprint.”
He added: “Also worthy of a mention is the advantage of having sufficient storage to manage through an exceptional weather event, such as prolonged wet weather when the risk of slurry run-off or causing damage to the soil are high.
“These events are becoming more common and having plentiful storage capacity gives a huge amount of peace of mind to farmers, in addition to the legal, practical and nutritional benefits.”
The grant is not available in areas designated as nitrate vulnerable zones.
It cannot be used to increase slurry storage capacity to accommodate an increase in livestock numbers.
Mr Halliday said: “There are many reasons for farmers to consider improving their slurry storage facilities. I urge them to look into their eligibility for this grant.
“Seek professional advice if needed as this grant can make an important contribution to improving farm infrastructure to make your business robust for the future.”
Muck spreading A farmer at work near Irongray
Grants advice Michael Halliday