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ENERGY NOW - Help for Farmers to Develop AD

16 February 2012, at 9:50am

UK - A new consultancy service for farmers looking to branch out into anaerobic digestion and biogas production was launched at the Energy Now exhibition and conference at the Three Counties Showground in Malvern this week.

The service organised by the Anaerobic Digestion and Biogas Association is free of charge is designed to help farmers and land owners decide whether AD is a viable option.

The association said that anaerobic digestion presents an opportunity for UK farmers, livestock producers and land managers to improve yields, create new income streams and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by generating their own renewable energy and biofertilisers.

Dairy farmer Gwyn Jones from the National Farmers\' Union and a board member of the ADBA said: "AD is a pivotal mechanism in supporting climate smart farming but the viability of AD for a particular business or site is a complex equation and so it\'s important that people receive good quality initial advice to help assess its feasibility.

"ADBA\'s free farmers\' consultancy service is a good start in helping farmers find out if anaerobic digestion is right for your business."

Chairman, Lord Resedale said: "We want to be a port of call for consultancy."

And he added that the ADBA has been focusing if forces on all sizes of AD plants from the large scale to the small operations on-farm.

"We have also been fighting for as much subsidy as possible," he added.

Lord Resedale said that some of the areas the association has been focussing on are to get farmers thinking about the resources they have on their farms such as using maize breaks as a way of keeping down weeds as well as forming a source of fuel for their AD plant.

"However, maize can have environmental issues with run off and we are working with Defra on protocols for this," he said.

"It\'s about self-sufficiency and helping farmers consider what their options are."

ADBA\'s Chief Executive Charlotte Morton said: "Farming is crucial to supporting the British economy and providing the food we need.

"Today\'s farmers are facing a tough economic climate made even more challenging by soaring energy, fertiliser and transport costs.

"AD not only helps farmers to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by reducing dependence on commercial fertilisers and traditional transport fuels and energy consumption, but also helps keep farmers farming."