£6 million grant announced for Welsh nutrient management

A new £6 million Sustainable Production Grant (SPG) will open in September aimed at addressing on-farm nutrient management and storage in Wales.

Cabinet Secretary for Energy, Planning and Rural Affairs, Lesley Griffiths, made the announcement on Wednesday at the Pembrokeshire County Show.

The fourth window of the SPG will give farmers the opportunity to take the lead in tackling agri-pollution to improve water, soil and air quality.

Grants will range from £12,000 to £50,000 as a maximum 40% contribution to project costs. The items supported will include covered slurry storage and management equipment.

The SPG will only provide support where the investment exceeds compliance with slurry storage regulations, achieving a minimum storage capacity of 160 days and 190 days for pig and poultry, regardless of any existing on-farm storage.

The next round of the Sustainable Production Grant is planned to open on September 3 and closes on October 26.

Speaking ahead of the Pembrokeshire Show, the Cabinet Secretary said: “The impacts of on-farm pollution affecting water quality and wildlife have increased recently, often due to poor slurry storage and dirty water handling facilities.

The level of interest we have had in each Sustainable Production Grant round has demonstrated farmers are willing to invest in their farm businesses to become more sustainable, prosperous and resilient.

“Our next round of the SPG will focus on supporting farmers to deliver our objectives of enhanced nutrient management, safeguarding and improving water, soil and air quality by reducing pollution.

“The investment will support farmers to address these important issues and ensure current and future generations continue to benefit from our natural resources.”

Views on post-Brexit support

The Cabinet Secretary attended the first day of the Pembrokeshire Show, undertaking a range of events and meetings.

She was particularly keen to hear from farmers, unions and partners about the Welsh Government’s recently launched proposals on future support for farmers in Wales after Brexit.

The new land management programme will consist of two large and flexible schemes – the Economic Resilience Scheme and the Public Goods Scheme.

The Cabinet Secretary added: “Brexit brings with it significant challenges and opportunities. I have been clear that maintaining the status quo is not an option and the Basic Payment Scheme will come to an end in Wales once the UK leaves the EU.

We are currently consulting on our proposals for a new ‘made-in-Wales’ land management programme which aims to keep farmers farming and ensure they thrive in a post-Brexit world.

“This year’s Pembrokeshire Show will be the last before we leave the EU. My message is simple – there has never been a more important time to get involved and help us shape the future of farming in Wales. I look forward to visiting the Show and hearing as many views as possible on our proposals.”