With an increasing number of anaerobic digesters being installed and granted planning permission there will potentially be many benefits and opportunities for neighbouring farmers to take advantage of. The vast majority of new AD plants are designed to run wholly on forage crops such as maize, rye and fodder beet but the key question is “Do they all have enough acres to sustainably feed the hungry beasts from their own farm alone?”
For example a 1 mega watt plant run solely on maize would require in the region of 25,000 tonnes of maize silage per year. This equates to 667 hectares yielding an average of 37.5 t/ ha. To integrate this into a sustainable rotation may require 2000 hectares. Those that do not have the luxury of that acreage and wish to keep all of their basic payment under the new three crop rule may look to their neighbours to grow some feed stock.
Article by PHIL GOSCOMB Open PDF