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Improved Manure and Slurry Management

Why are we funding this package?

Good water quality is a key outcome of the SRDP. It will help to maintain and enhance biodiversity and environmental conditions on farmland and in rivers.

This package will help to deliver the Water Quality outcome. It will support actions which are needed under existing water legislation and codes of good practice, and provide additional benefits to both the farm environment and the farm business.

A similar package, Reducing losses of nitrates, also seeks action to prevent or reduce diffuse pollution, including actions under the revised Nitrate Vulnerable Zone (NVZ) Action Programme. It supports a slightly different range of options.

What will this package achieve?

Most of Scotland's water environment is generally in good condition. However, there is a risk that if land management practices are not improved, some of our water will not meet the requirements of good quality under Scottish legislation.

Pollution that comes from land-use activities in the countryside is often spread across large areas. Diffuse pollution of water may come from an excess of nutrients, faecal pathogens, suspended solid matter (such as soil) or toxic compounds. Reducing these losses will help to maintain good water quality in Scotland.

This package will reduce the risk and the potential impact of the pollution which can come from manure and slurry. Good management of manure and slurry will:

  • improve water quality by reducing the risk of nutrient enrichment which can damage freshwater habitats and species
  • improve biodiversity on land or in water by reducing nutrient loading in sensitive habitats such as wetlands
  • improve terrestrial and freshwater habitats by reducing contamination from faecal material
  • improve soil conditions, if slurry or manure is applied in the right conditions, it can hold more organic matter and soil fertility can increase
  • improve the farm business, applying fertiliser in the form of manure and slurry at the right time and in the right amount can reduce costs.

What can you do?

You should choose which of the following Options will help deliver the outcome you have selected.

We suggest the following Options may all be appropriate.

Some Options- shown in the top list - will always deliver the desired outcomes. If you choose any of these Options, you will not be expected to provide any justification for choosing that Option.

Other Options - those in the bottom list - will only help achieve the desired outcome in specific circumstances. If you choose any of these, the application system will ask you to explain how you see this Option helping to achieve the outcome. You can select as many, or as few, Options as you think you will need. You must judge which Options will most effectively deliver the desired outcomes taking account of your circumstances.

In all cases, a Nutrient Management Plan Option (tier 2 or tier 3) or a Soil and Water Management Plan Option (tier 3) could help you to draft your proposals. You can produce these plans with an audit of the whole farm.

These Options will always deliver the desired outcome:

These Options will help to achieve the desired outcome in specific circumstances:

Other support available under the SRDP

There are other Options available under the SRDP that can help you to improve manure and slurry management. These oOtions are available under Land Managers' Options and they can complement and support your proposal. They include:

  • Nutrient management plan
  • Management of grass margins and beetlebanks in arable fields
  • Biodiversity cropping on in-bye
  • Management of conservation headlands
  • Retention of winter stubbles