Updates from Defra: April 2023

Every now and then, we let our Land App users know the latest news from Defra, relevant to policy, funding changes and opportunities. You can read about April’s updates below: * 

*Please note the following is text provided directly from Defra, which Land App has agreed to pass on.

Plan for Water: new funding available for farmers
On April 19, applications opened for the second round of the Water Management grant. It will provide £10 million in funding to help farmers manage their water use through more efficient irrigation and securing water supplies through the construction of on-farm reservoirs.

This followed Defra’s announcement on 4 April, that farmers will benefit from more funding as part of a new integrated plan to improve water quality for people, businesses and nature. 

The measures see more funding for farmers to improve their slurry storage, with nearly £34 million available through the first round of the Slurry Infrastructure Grant – more than double the original budget following very high demand from farmers. 

The Integrated Plan for Water covers both the quality of the water environment – how clean it is – and how much water we have.  It will transform the whole water system – tackling every source of pollution, including from storm overflows, agriculture, plastics, road run-off, chemicals and pesticides.

Find out more by reading our blog posts about the Slurry Infrastructure Grant and Water Management grant guidance


Water Management 2: An on-farm reservoir with filler pipes, funded in the first round.

New regulatory reform for pig sector  

Defra has outlined new support for the pig sector including a commitment to bring in regulation on pig contracts to support the supply chain and provide greater certainty across the whole sector. 

These new regulations will help to bring stability and security to the pig supply chain, strengthening the sector’s position to deal with the challenges currently being faced, such as rising costs and labour shortages caused by global pressures.  

The move follows a public consultation last year, which received nearly 400 responses from producers, processors and others in the supply chain. A majority of respondents supported our approach to implement legally-binding, written contracts through legislation. Defra will also develop regulations to collect and share more supply chain data, particularly in relation to wholesale price transparency and national slaughter numbers.

Find out more by reading the full summary of responses and UK Government response to last year’s consultation. 

All farming regulations in one place 

We’re making it easier for farmers to find which rules apply to them. You can now see all the rules in one place on the Rules for Farmers page. To find out more about how we are making guidance simpler for farmers, read our blog post on the Defra Farming Blog. 

  • Tree Health Pilot: This photograph shows a diseased tree with Phytophthora ramorum. The Tree Health Pilot is working to slow down diseased trees such as this one. Photo by senior policy adviser Phoebe Brown.

Advice for small farmers dealing with tree health issues  

Through the Tree Health Pilot (which operates in the South East, North West and West Midlands), we offer funding to help land managers deal with tree health issues.  

Recognising that some smaller land managers may not be used to dealing with tree health issues, we have bolstered our support. The pilot now offers a new advice package, which is available to land managers issued with Statutory Plant Health Notices.  

This £475 package contributes to the costs of forestry or land agent advice, a biosecurity kit, signage and training, and will improve land managers’ ability to identify and deal with tree health issues.

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