Monday, 21 February 2011

The sweet smell of successful anaerobic digestion

Ambridge’s plans for a farm-scale anaerobic digester came to naught, but perhaps they could have been viable if dodgy Matt Crawford hadn’t tried to get his finger into the pie. Brookfield’s milking parlour might even have been able to operate by recycling slurry from the cows. And maybe rather than taking against the whole scheme because of fears about land being taken out of food production, Pat and Tony Archer should have thought about setting up their own digester to process crop waste and slurry. It could have been a useful source of organic fertiliser for Bridge Farm. But anaerobic digestion doesn’t have to be fictional. Charles Banks and his team have been able to demonstrate that it could be a real-life, economically viable diversification strategy for arable and dairy farms. Where are the farmer-entrepreneurs who could make it happen in the real world? There must be some who could make it work – and it needn't involve going into partnership with Matt Crawford.

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