EnviroCrops – Perennial Energy Crops Decision Support System (PEC-DSS)
The decision-making app putting you in control of biomass crop production.
£1.57 million of funding from BEIS through the Biomass Feedstocks Innovation (BFI) Programme has been awarded to the Envirocrops project. The project is led by the Agri Food and Biosciences Institute (AFBI) with support from two energy in agriculture consultancies: Crops for Energy Ltd and NFU Energy and a software development company, Calvium.
Envirocrops team and extended collaborators at the BEIS 2022 site visit to AFBI Hillsborough research farm.
Envirocrops is envisaged as the epicentre of information on biomass crops. The web app will be in an easy to access, free or low-cost, user-friendly format. Envirocrops will enable farmers, land managers and consultants to make an informed decision on planting and marketing crops such as willow, miscanthus, poplar, eucalyptus, hemp, reed canary grass, switch grass and more.
Envirocrops will continually be at the forefront of the biomass crop sector by AGE-ing well:
- Acting as the central point of independent and impartial information on biomass crops.
- Growing as the field develops to include novel and innovative biomass crops.
- Evolving with the markets whilst being interactive and customer specific.
Why the need for Envirocrops?
UK and EU governing bodies have highlighted a massive need for the expansion of biomass crop land coverage to meet essential Net Zero commitments by 2050. The Climate Change Committee (CCC) in their ‘Land use: Policies for a Net Zero UK’ (2020), “encourage bioenergy crops” – expanding the planting of energy crops within the UK to ~23,000 hectares per year. The European Green Deal (2021), from the European Commission, raises the prospects of increased reliance on biomass sources for energy.
Biomass crop industry information is widespread, however, it can be biased and outdated. Additionally, planting perennial crops is a long-term (~20 year) commitment, therefore, there is no room for mistakes. Along with the Net Zero agenda and the intended rapid expansion of land used for biomass crops there needs to be a reliable and easily accessible hub of information for growing and trading biomass crops and their products. To date there is no centralised point for information on biomass crops, hence, Envirocrops ambitiously aims to fill this void.
Envirocrops aspires to revolutionise the biomass crop industry by acting as a:
- Price comparison website,
- Vast encyclopaedia of information,
- Directory of all the leading biomass crop players,
- And ultimately an online trading platform with a local dimension!
Utilising calculators, decision trees and digital mapping, Envirocrops will provide farmers, project developers and industry decision-makers, with tailored information on:
Envirocrops welcomes any questions, and we greatly encourage interested parties to contact us and get involved in this exciting new project. To learn more, keep up to date with project progress, get involved in our outreach days, app testing and more, please subscribe to our newsletter.
email: [email protected]
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