Arable farmer welcomes opportunities

Arable and dairy farmer Bryan Collen grows a total of 400 acres of oilseed rape for industrial and non-food uses.He has about 200 acres on the family's farm at Gisleham, near Lowestoft, plus 200 acres grown for a neighbour.

Arable and dairy farmer Bryan Collen grows a total of 400 acres of oilseed rape for industrial and non-food uses.

He has about 200 acres on the family's farm at Gisleham, near Lowestoft, plus 200 acres grown for a neighbour. "We

believe that we can produce biofuel and be environmentally friendly and produce food crops. If they give us the incentives, we've got the ability to do that," said Mr Collen, a former chairman of Suffolk National Farmers' Union. "We've always had virtually all of our set-aside in industrial oilseeds." With growing world demand for cereals and oilseeds, Mr Collen said set-aside could be brought into cropping: "However, I don't think that the area of set-aside will be a big player. A lot is already growing crops for industrial uses or non-food uses."

His son, John, who will be on a BBC Countryfile programme on biofuels on May 13, said farmers grew large areas of crops for fuels 60 years ago: "Some one-third of the country was feeding horses, which was the energy of the time."


You may also want to watch:


The growth in demand for biofuels - particularly in Europe - has led to an 18pc rise in the oilseed-rape area in the past year in England, says Defra.

Most Read

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter
Comments powered by Disqus