IFA Alternative Land Use Chairman, JJ Kavanagh welcomed the announcement by Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food Brendan Smith to extend the deadline for applications for the 2011 BioEnergy Scheme until Tuesday, 2nd February 2011.
He said that the bad weather conditions before Christmas had stopped farmers that were considering planting willow or miscanthus under the scheme from applying, as they could not get their land assessed.
He advised farmers to talk to other farmers that had planted locally and to ensure that there was a viable end use for the crops within the locality. In general, it is expected that such markets should be within 80 km of the bioenergy to keep transportation costs at a reasonable level.
Since the BioEnergy scheme was launched in 2007 over 3,600 hectares of bioenergy crops have been established