Biomass Connect made a notable appearance at the recent Farming Connect Diversification and Innovation Event, occupying a booth and delivering a presentation on the challenges and opportunities associated with the cultivation of biomass crops. The event, organised by Farming Connect and hosted at the Royal Welsh showground, garnered considerable interest from land managers across Wales.
At the Biomass Connect booth, we not only provided a wealth of informative materials and merchandise but also showcased various products derived from biomass crops, including briquettes, fire lighters, construction boards, and livestock bedding. Additionally, we had samples of freshly cut willow and miscanthus, along with miscanthus rhizomes. These samples served as excellent conversation starters for discussions centered around the cultivation of biomass crops.
Our booth attracted a continuous flow of enthusiastic visitors, including farmers, contractors, consultants, solicitors, government officials, and union members. During the event, Mark Needham delivered a presentation that introduced our project and emphasised how biomass crops are viewed as a solution to help achieve the Net Zero 2050 target. Mark also highlighted the opportunities they present as alternative and innovative enterprises, along with their significant environmental benefits.
- The main discussion topics revolved around several key questions, such as:
- Where can these crops be grown on my farm?
- What are the planting and harvesting processes?
- Does winter harvesting damage the ground?
- What are the various uses for these crops?
- Are there different crop varieties, and how rapidly do they grow?
- Who are the potential buyers, and what marketing options are available?
- What income potential do these crops offer?
- Are there any subsidies available?
- How do biomass trees align with the 10% tree cover target in Wales?
The answers to many of these questions can be found on the Biomass Connect website where there is material in the form of Fact Sheets, Audio, Video, Technical Articles and Crop Information. If you can’t find an answer to your specific questions, please get in touch and the team will be happy to help.
In addition to these discussions, there were some more technical enquiries that we were able to assist with and point people to experts who could help. These included questions on markets for hemp seeds and fibres, the use of miscanthus for out-wintering cows, using the ash from biomass energy plants as livestock bedding and diversification grants for growing miscanthus.
The event was a platform for fruitful discussions and knowledge exchange, fostering awareness and interest in the potential of biomass crops within the farming community.