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."
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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.
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