The contribution wood fuel and biomass have made to an Ayrshire family dairy farm will be the focus of a meeting planned for Tuesday 21 January at their farm.
The event will feature specialists from Scotland’s RuralCollege and the Forestry Commission; it is one of two events organised by SRUC and Central Scotland’s Green Network aimed at promoting the practical benefits of farm woodlands.
At Barmoorhill Farm, Tarbolton the Hamilton family have just installed a wood fuel boiler to provide heat to their 200 cow dairy unit and the farmhouse. They are hosting the event to help other farmers assess the suitability of such a system on their own units. They will outline their experience and discuss the pros and cons of the system for others. The event will also offer advice on how to manage small scale farm woodlands as a potential or future fuel source for sale or home supply.
Julie Paton, Forestry Commission Scotland’s CSGN Woodland Expansion Programme Manager said they are delighted to support the event:
“It will demonstrate what a difference woodland can make to a farm business. Whether you are interested in bringing existing woodland into management or thinking about planting trees on the farm for shelter; future timber supply or to make better use of unproductive land, it will be great way to explore some options and find out more about the support available for forestry in the Central Belt.
Among the speakers from Scotland’s RuralCollege will be Senior Forestry Consultant Peter Jones and Senior Biomass Consultant John Farquhar.
In addition to the commercial benefits of woodfuel and biomass they also recognise the contribution it makes to the Scottish Government’s targets under the Farming for a Better Climate Initiative.
“We will consider how farmers can manage small farm woodlands as a source of wood for sale or home supply,” said Peter Jones.
“This may help those with woodlands that have fallen out of routine management or give ideas for improved management. They offer shelter for livestock and help to lock up carbon on the farm.”
For John Farquhar the interest lies in the income from energy generation.
“The Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) can provide an additional income stream for the farm and may reduce the need to use fossil fuels and cut the bills for heating the farm house, offices or farm buildings.”