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Funding available for nutrient management solutions

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: Payments for research and innovation, Payments to improve soil health

Farmer walks across field under grey and blue skies

With good nutrient management, farmers and growers can increase their productivity and protect the environment too.  

Nutrient management involves using either organic or manufactured nutrients as efficiently as possible to maximise plant uptake, crop growth and yield. 

It also includes applying nutrients where and when they can be best used by plants, thereby combating run-off and soil erosion.  

But the management of nutrients is not without its challenges: from leaching and run off to the removal of contaminants.  

Through the £15 million Nutrient Management competition, part of the Farming Innovation Programme, we’re offering funding to develop solutions which address the challenges related to nutrient management in soils and water associated with agricultural livestock and crop production. 

In this post, I’ll share an overview of the competition and link to the guidance so you can prepare to apply when applications  open on 29 May.  

Competition overview  

There is now the opportunity to apply for a grant through two competition strands:  

  1. Feasibility Studies - projects will be up to 24 months with total costs between £200,000 and £500,000.  
  2. Industrial Research – projects will be between 24 and 36 months with total costs between £500,000 and £1 million. 

Projects which might be funded could include:   

  • novel organic material treatment technologies, for example, slurry concentration or additives 
  • technologies that allow for more cost-effective transport of products derived from organic materials, for example, pelletisation or dewatering 
  • technologies for the removal of contaminants 
  • improving our understanding of bio stimulants, and how increased nutrient uptake could reduce amounts of nutrient applied 
  • emerging technologies to treat manures and create income streams from these products, for example, gas capture, fuel pellets, growing media, building materials  
  • developing innovative spreading and application technologies to increase productivity and accuracy and reduce environmental impact 
  • adapted fertilisers which reduce risk of leaching and run off 
  • improving water quality through recovery of waste materials. 

Projects should develop technologies that can be readily adopted by English farmers and growers to improve their nutrient management.  

We are also exploring a second opportunity to apply for funding later this year. We'll keep you updated. 

Dates to note 

The competition is delivered in partnership with Innovate UK, part of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI). 

If you have any questions about the competition, get in touch with Innovate UK:

Subscribe to the Farming blog for updates from the team and details of funding opportunities ahead.  

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