Slurry stor­age grants on of­fer

The Galloway News - - FARMING REVIEW - STEPHEN NOR­RIS

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

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