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Stackyard News Nov 06

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    New biofuel venture good for environment and farming says NFU

Plans to open a new bioethanol plant in Teesside in 2008 are good news for farmers, UK energy supplies and the environment, says the NFU.

oilseed rape

The Ensus proposal will offer new opportunities to UK farmers, with targets to use around 1.2 million tonnes of wheat a year supplied by Glencore Grain UK.

The wheat will be used to produce significant volumes of biofuel, and also a high protein animal feed as a by-product.

NFU combinable crops board chairman Arthur Hill said: “The long term contracts for wheat and the supply of animal feed resulting from this venture will benefit all farmers and provide access to a secure market for years to come.

“However, the emergence of this new market also shows we need to sit down with all of our customers to redefine the terms that farmers use for trading their crop and to guarantee supply to end users. In the case of bioethanol, this would mean rewarding wheat with the greatest spirit yield.”

The growth of a biofuel industry will also reinforce the NFU’s campaign to abolish set-aside land, an objective to which Defra and the EU are lending greater support.

Mr Hill said: “This country has enough land to grow enough crops to meet our food and fuel requirements. Adding value to UK crops in this way will enable our farmers to supply feedstock for fuel to reduce the environmental impact of transport.

“This will cut the amount of greenhouse gas emissions, restore some badly needed balance to grain markets and reduce our dependence on imports of high protein animal feed from overseas.”

1. Even after allowing for the cost of harvesting, processing and transportation, bio-fuels still yield net savings of 70 per cent in greenhouse gas emissions compared with fossil fuels.

The Government’s Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation, which requires oil companies to use a minimum of five per cent of bioethanol or biodiesel in their fuels by 2010, will reduce CO2 emissions in Britain by two million tonnes.

link Defra Report Highlights Progress on Non-Food Crops
link Climate Change Bill - farming can deliver
link Farmers Can Help Fight Climate Change Says Union
link Genetic 'Noah's Ark' strategy launched for the country's farm animals

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