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The Slurry Hurry

14 February 2023

On the 30th of January 2023, Scottish Government launched the next round of funding under the Agri-Environment Climate Scheme (AECS). The scheme is Scotland’s foremost environmental scheme and offers farmers the opportunity to invest in their natural capital reserves through the creation and sustainable management of habitats at field and farm level. Included in the announcement is a continuation of funding for those businesses operating on a slurry-based system to invest in new storage – specifically a tower or lagoon.

From January, The Controlled Activities Regulations (CAR) have been updated to include the 2003 “SSAFO Regs”, known as the Control of Pollution (Silage, Slurry and Agricultural Fuel Oil) (Scotland) Regulations 2003, (as amended). This has meant most regulations about slurry and silage handling and storage are now in one place. Crucially, this change means that storage capacity for slurry produced by housed livestock must be sufficient for 22 weeks for housed cattle. This is a reduction on the current six months requirement and brings the CAR into line with NVZ requirements.

These changes have placed significant pressure on the sector to make big changes in a short period of time and coupled with the recent phasing out of splash plates for most businesses in favour of precision application technology, it’s easy to sympathise with those where the industry is changing at a pace they cannot keep up with.

This year Scottish Government have set the deadline for new slurry storage applications as 24th March and most businesses around Scotland, provided they are not in an NVZ, previously had support under Rural Priorities (2007 – 2013) or AECS are eligible.

Applications received in March are expected to be reviewed and assessed by the end of April and successful applicants will be expected to have the store constructed and completed by the 31st of December 2023. This timeline places high pressure on advisors, but also on businesses looking to receive support to complete the required works in time. Funding is available for storage capacity created, at £15 per cubic meter created and should bring the business up to six months storage, which is more than the required five months under new regulations.

Funding support is capped at £30,000 for storage, not including supporting items at standard cost. The applications will be scored to ensure value for money and those businesses located around protected water catchments are likely to have the best chance of a successful application.

Slurry funding deadlines summary:; 01292 525036


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