Biomass Connect together with Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) successfully hosted two demonstration events at SRUC hub sites in Ayrshire and Edinburgh, Scotland. The events were attended by a diverse group of land managers, consultants, biomass processors, policy makers, and researchers.
The events included highly informative talks by Jeanette Whittaker (Biomass Connect, Project Lead) introducing the biomass connect project aims and objectives, and Bryan Elliot (Eucalyptus Renewables) highlighting the risk and opportunities of growing short rotation forestry tree crops, emphasizing the need of planting the right tree at the right place, and the importance of proper management practices to maximise yields. Kevin Lindegaard introduced the Envirocrops web app, a decision support tool to help land managers and consultants make an informed decision on the planting and marketing of biomass crops. Josephine Sweden (SRUC farm manager) gave detailed updates on the hub sites.
Attendees were taken on a crop tour of the biomass crops planted onsite, including willow, poplar, black locust, eucalyptus, alder, and miscanthus. During the crop tour, experts on the various crops provided detailed information on all the crops. Marton Nemeth (Silvanus Forestry) spoke on black locust, Chris Ashman (IBERS, Aberystwyth University) provided information on Miscanthus, William Callum (AFBI) spoke on Poplar. Jamie Rickerby (Willow Energy) spoke on Willow and demonstrated the commercial planting of willow with a step planter. The crop talks were all tailored to provide specific information on plant spacing, stocking density, rotation length, time of planting, harvesting, yield, management practices, pest and diseases, harvesting products, markets and potential income. The attendees engaged in informal discussions and networking throughout the event.
This winter biomass connect has a series of upcoming webinars where we have biomass industry experts speak on various topics. Join us for our next webinar on 16th November on theme ‘Biomass crops and water management’. Find out more information and register here.