Cutting costs of grain-drying

Bill Howatson - says study highlights the benfits of switching to burning biomass
Bill Howatson - says study highlights the benfits of switching to burning biomass

The results of a study in the North-east highlights the economic benefits to farmers and central grain-drying stores in switching from oil and propane to more sustainable biomass fuels.

The study was undertaken for Aberdeenshire Council and the Forestry Commission (Grampian Conservancy) by SAOS (Scottish Agricultural Organisation Society).

Councillor Bill Howatson of Aberdeenshire who is Chair of NESAAG (North East Scotland Agriculture Advisory Group) said: “Scottish agriculture faces many challenges in delivering big targets such as cutting non-renewable inputs while maintaining, or ideally increasing output.

“This study is a valuable piece of work and shows clearly that alternatives to traditional grain drying methods can be both cost effective and environmentally beneficial.

“The early adopters - especially those cited in the Aberdeenshire case studies - have done the agricultural sector a great service in showing the way ahead and helping to reinforce the area’s reputation for leading innovation

A significant amount of money is spent every year by Scottish farmers drying grain after harvest to enable safe long term storage.

With fuel costs of the order of £10,000 for a 200ha arable farm, this represents a major overhead for farmers and is set to increase year on year due to rising fuel costs and increasingly wet summers.

The report can be downloaded from

http://www.aberdeenshire.gov.uk/support/agriculture/agriculture-news.asp​