Pig producers heard about the importance of feedstock supply for anaerobic digestion (AD) at an open day on James Hart’s farm in Gloucestershire.
It’s important to consider the source of feedstock to go into the digester. Using home-produced inputs is preferable – avoid relying on ‘imported’ feedstock such as food waste for example.
Twenty producers from around the country were at the event, jointly hosted with BPEX, to hear James’ tips on planning, building and running a farm-scale AD plant.
A key point was the importance of ensuring an adequate supply of suitable feedstock. Using home-produced inputs is preferable, to avoid relying on ‘imported’ feedstock such as food waste, for example.
James said: “We are using pig slurry and home-grown maize along with poultry and cow manure from my business partner’s unit next door.”
He also advised doing as much research as possible and talking to people who have already invested in anaerobic digestion (AD) on farm.
“The two things that made it viable for us were computerisation of the system along with government payment schemes, which included feed-in tariffs and the renewable heat incentives. Electrical connection to the National Grid is the first priority – find out what power capacity is possible and where.”
Investing in renewable energy technology like AD can not only improve a pig farm’s carbon efficiency but also present a good business opportunity. BPEX environment project manager Anna Davis said: “Generating your own energy means saving on energy costs now as well as helping to future-proof your business against energy price volatility.”
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