There should be more opportunities for pig producers to benefit from the Slurry Infrastructure Grant in future, according to NPA chief executive Lizzie Wilson.
Defra announced in November that the new scheme would enable livestock farmers to apply for grants of up to £250,000 to improve their slurry storage.
However, in this first year, the grants are available to bring slurry storage capacity up to six months, a position many pig farmers already comply with, particularly those that are permitted or within an NVZ.
While that restricts access to the grants for many pig producers this time, it doesn’t mean pig producers won’t be able to access grants in future, Mrs Wilson said.
“The priority this year is bringing other livestock sectors, including dairy, up to the same standard of compliance as the pig sector as quickly as possible. That is why Defra is funding up to six months worth of storage,” she said.
“We appreciate that this is disappointing for producers who were hoping to benefit from the grant but aren’t eligible as they already have six months storage capacity.
“However, I want to stress that we expect the scheme to be expanded in future. We have discussed this numerous times with the Defra team responsible, and they are acutely aware that more needs to be offered to include the pig sector in the coming years.
“Indeed, I’ve got a meeting with them shortly to discuss exactly what the pig sector needs, so, in partnership, we can develop something that is going to of real value to producers.”
Members who are eligible are reminded that the deadline for applying for the grants is January 31.
The first stage of the applications process is an online checker. You can find it on Defra’s Slurry Infrastructure grant page.
Defra held a webinar to discuss the grant on December 7. You can watch a recording of it here.
Defra has also published a blog on the scheme, which can be viewed HERE.