Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 30 of 31

Thread: Maize AD

  1. #1
    Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Bedford
    Posts
    93

    Maize AD

    I cant remember the exact figure but Farmers weekly's poll from last week states that 55% of farmers agree that maize should be grown to fuel AD plants. Just wondered what peoples views were?

    Personally I am dead against using a limited source to produce fuel rather than food, I would prefer to see the maize put through a pig or cow to produce food, the slurry to power the AD then the digestate to fertilise the crop.

    When I have asked a local AD manager his thoughts, he seemed to think that maize isn't the best material to produce biogas, instead pig slurry is first then food waste at second, maize third, and cattle slurry fourth.

    I think that AD has a future and would support the sustainability of livestock farming but by using animal slurry and not growing the plant specifically for this reason.

    A local contractor a few weeks ago was taking whole crop silage to their AD plant, the trip is around 26 miles. How much diesel did that take to produce the amount of energy?
    sjhelliwell.co.uk howbrooktrailers.co.uk

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Posts
    475

    Re: Maize AD

    most of these green things don't stack up! it's a great way of turning a waste product into something useful and then putting it back on the land as organic material.

    but it seems the govt has decided they want them and are willing to turn arable land into fodder for ADs, solar panels and elephant grass!

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Somerset
    Posts
    2,820

    Re: Maize AD

    You'll have a hard time stacking up UK food production at any rate. The reasons for this in my view are complex and have to be considered in a holistic fashion.

    At any rate, I didn't think a biogas plant cannot run on pure pig muck, as I understood it the process requires a fair amount of raw materials which are best obtained from plant biomass, including maize, grass, sugarbeet etc.

    I think every town and village should have its own AD plant, with sewage and household 'biowaste' sent to them, with the electricity and heat piped back.

    I would not automatically claim feeding maize to an AD plant is any better or any worse for the environment or mankind as a whole, than feeding corn or maize to a dairy cow or a pig.

    And, last but not least, quite what authority farmers or farmers weekly are on such a subject I am unsure. If they wanted a meaningful poll then surely a range of experts in the fields of energy generation and environmental science would be the best bet?

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    M1 - M18 - M62 Triangle
    Posts
    703

    Re: Maize AD

    Farmland has produced energy crops ever since horses were the main source of well "horsepower", but over the past 80 years or so that power has gradually been replaced by unsustainable fossil fuel.

    I have no wish to go back to those days but we do need to be ever more ingenious as to where we get all forms of power in the future

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    shropshire
    Posts
    189

    Re: Maize AD

    We have one near us.
    They run it on maize and food waste, but within the next two years will switch to 100% food waste.
    What is the point of spending money on crops to put in the plant, when they can charge the supermarkets 30/t and run it on lorry loads of pizzas etc.
    Apparently the shop value of the waste in each artic is approx. 300k, and they are paying 900 for it.
    They also think that the digestate, which they will apply using a dribble bar, will provide enough fert to feed all their crops too.

  6. #6
    Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Bedford
    Posts
    93

    Re: Maize AD

    I like the idea of each town having its own AD plant supplied with the food waste from the town and suppyling the electricity and hot water but I think in the UK it would just create a lost of waste jobs. The local AD plant is running on pig slurry and food waste, so both waste products.

    The main point of the thread was that I don't know why the 55% of farmers would be for this, it seems like a very backward move in my opinion.
    sjhelliwell.co.uk howbrooktrailers.co.uk

  7. #7
    Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Herefordshire
    Posts
    32

    Re: Maize AD

    I have my own AD plant and it is run on maize, grass silage, poultry litter and FYM. I think first and foremost in this debate is the fact that the land that is used to grow maize is mine, I either own or rent it from others who are happy to take my money, and therefore it is up to me what I grow on it, and what I use those crops for, I have no moral obligation to produce food, as far as I am concerned my only responsibility is to run as profitable a business as I can with the resources I have.

    But, I can run my business more profitably by reducing the amount of maize I put through the plant and sourcing other types of waste. However the barriers to this part of the industry are huge, when I fist applied for planning I was told by the planning officer that there is no chance I would get permission for a waste plant "we don't like them, and we can't trust you farmers to run it properly" so to get up and running we had to apply for a farm based AD. I am now about to start the process of getting the restrictions lifted, with no garauntee of success. I will then have to go through the same process with the Environment Agency, so I have to ask myself the question is it worth exposing myself to all these government agencies again, just to take in some waste, or should I just carry on using farm based feedstock?

  8. #8
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    north norfolk
    Posts
    572

    Re: Maize AD

    we've had years of farm assurance saying 'unless you do this/ that you wont sell your produce'....years of trade saying ' we'll take it off your hands'......now farmers have another choice......grow for AD. IMO we've had years of food surplus keeping prices down and anything that redresses the balance is good. I'm amazed its only 55% TBH....our job is make a fair income from our land and labours not to feed the country.

  9. #9
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    North Norfolk
    Posts
    155

    Re: Maize AD

    We run our AD on 50% cattle manures - slurry & FYM, 50% crops - maize from the outside of the clamp, best for the cows, also fodder beet and a bit of wholecrop following winter barley and harvested early before a late crop of maize. The following is part of a letter by me published in Anglia Farmer magazine:

    Going back a couple of generations, a third of our farm was devoted to energy crops (hay and oats for the horses, my great grandfather had no use for petrol or diesel). Since then the population has increased, but so have the yields of food and energy crops. While there are still areas of the country devoted to golf courses and pony paddocks full of nettles, we cannot be that short of land to grow food.

    If we are going to grow energy crops, then crops to co-digest with livestock manures and other farm byproducts is as efficient a way to produce energy from farmland as anything. KWS claim that maize and beet into biogas produces four times as much energy and carbon saving as producing biodiesel or bioethanol. Personally I am not in favour of large digesters where the feedstock crops have to be hauled over significant distances, and the digestate has to be hauled out back to land over similar distances.

    Our setup produces the feedstock for the digester on farm, utilising cattle manures, whey, beet and maize silage. The cows get the best maize from the middle of the clamp, and the digester has the second quality from the top, sides and floor sweepings.

    Fen Tiger questions the potential runoff from maize fields. This can be an issue if maize is grown on inappropriate slopes, but no more so than potatoes or beet. We are hosting a DEFRA trial on our farm investigating the effects of treatments to reduce fertiliser loss and runoff from maize.

    Another item Fen Tiger questions is the value of digestate. We have ours analysed before use, and it has proved so valuable that we have been able to cut our fertiliser purchases by about two thirds. We have invested in extra storage, and a trailing shoe tanker, purely to get best value from this. When we used to apply farmyard manure and slurry to the land, we could allow some value to this but the analysis was not reliable. Because the digestate is extremely well mixed, and has better nutrient availability with much of the pollutants removed, we can rely on it as a consistent product to get best value from the nutrients.

    I would like to see crops grown for digestion, but only in conjunction with livestock manures, on a small enough scale to avoid high haulage costs.

  10. #10
    Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Bedford
    Posts
    93

    Re: Maize AD

    Quote Originally Posted by The Son View Post
    I have my own AD plant and it is run on maize, grass silage, poultry litter and FYM. I think first and foremost in this debate is the fact that the land that is used to grow maize is mine, I either own or rent it from others who are happy to take my money, and therefore it is up to me what I grow on it, and what I use those crops for, I have no moral obligation to produce food, as far as I am concerned my only responsibility is to run as profitable a business as I can with the resources I have.

    But, I can run my business more profitably by reducing the amount of maize I put through the plant and sourcing other types of waste. However the barriers to this part of the industry are huge, when I fist applied for planning I was told by the planning officer that there is no chance I would get permission for a waste plant "we don't like them, and we can't trust you farmers to run it properly" so to get up and running we had to apply for a farm based AD. I am now about to start the process of getting the restrictions lifted, with no garauntee of success. I will then have to go through the same process with the Environment Agency, so I have to ask myself the question is it worth exposing myself to all these government agencies again, just to take in some waste, or should I just carry on using farm based feedstock?
    I always think that as a farmer I am there to produce food as a first priority, surely with an ever going population, more land going to development then we'll need as much land as possible to produce food.

    What do you think to shale gas and nuclear energy? Do people not think that AD will totally be outdated within the next few years as a primary source of energy.
    sjhelliwell.co.uk howbrooktrailers.co.uk

  11. #11
    Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Herefordshire
    Posts
    32

    Re: Maize AD

    Quote Originally Posted by S J H View Post
    I always think that as a farmer I am there to produce food as a first priority, surely with an ever going population, more land going to development then we'll need as much land as possible to produce food.

    What do you think to shale gas and nuclear energy? Do people not think that AD will totally be outdated within the next few years as a primary source of energy.
    I don't think its my responsibility to produce food, and I think the argument that more land is needed for food production is misleading, there are many farms that produce very small amounts from their farms, but that is what suits them, its their farm and they can do what they want. I think that adding AD into the market place will provide those farmers that are willing a different, but profitable outlet for crops that they can grow. You only need to read the posts about British sugar on here to realise that there are many farmers looking for another spring break crop, and maize could well provide that for them.

    I don't think AD will ever be a primary source of energy, but I am convinced its a better source of energy than both PV or wind, because the methane that is produced can be stored, and used when necessary. I believe there will come a time when I am asked to run at certain times of the day to make up the shortfall in energy from other providors, and I hope I will get a premium for providing that service.

  12. #12
    Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Bedford
    Posts
    93

    Re: Maize AD

    Quote Originally Posted by The Son View Post
    I don't think its my responsibility to produce food, and I think the argument that more land is needed for food production is misleading, there are many farms that produce very small amounts from their farms, but that is what suits them, its their farm and they can do what they want. I think that adding AD into the market place will provide those farmers that are willing a different, but profitable outlet for crops that they can grow. You only need to read the posts about British sugar on here to realise that there are many farmers looking for another spring break crop, and maize could well provide that for them.

    I don't think AD will ever be a primary source of energy, but I am convinced its a better source of energy than both PV or wind, because the methane that is produced can be stored, and used when necessary. I believe there will come a time when I am asked to run at certain times of the day to make up the shortfall in energy from other providors, and I hope I will get a premium for providing that service.
    But what about shale and nuclear power?

    I'm not having a go about the way you farm, but i keep thinking that growing energy crops is backward step.
    sjhelliwell.co.uk howbrooktrailers.co.uk

  13. #13
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    essex
    Posts
    17

    Re: Maize AD

    i think farmers should feel free to grow what ever they want.

    however i think that the government subsidising solar, wind, AD is ridiculous and a scandalous immoral waste of tax payer money. The rising cost of electricity impacts disproportionally on the poorest households and the subsidies/high prices can be seen to be a needless wealth transfer from the poor to the rich (land and home owning) classes.

    even if you believe in global warming, attempts to mitigate it in the UK are futile in the extreme.

    I believe that in forty years we will look back in amazement at our own stupidity whilst producing 99% of our electricity from fracked gas , methane hydrates and nuclear power.

    how many years of no warming will it take to turn the supertanker of vested interest in global warming around?

    p.s. forgot must remember we're supposed to call it "climate change" now because there is no warming.

  14. #14
    Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Bedford
    Posts
    93

    Re: Maize AD

    Quote Originally Posted by essexmike View Post
    i think farmers should feel free to grow what ever they want.

    however i think that the government subsidising solar, wind, AD is ridiculous and a scandalous immoral waste of tax payer money. The rising cost of electricity impacts disproportionally on the poorest households and the subsidies/high prices can be seen to be a needless wealth transfer from the poor to the rich (land and home owning) classes.

    even if you believe in global warming, attempts to mitigate it in the UK are futile in the extreme.

    I believe that in forty years we will look back in amazement at our own stupidity whilst producing 99% of our electricity from fracked gas , methane hydrates and nuclear power.

    how many years of no warming will it take to turn the supertanker of vested interest in global warming around?

    p.s. forgot must remember we're supposed to call it "climate change" now because there is no warming.
    Is AD government subsidied?
    sjhelliwell.co.uk howbrooktrailers.co.uk

  15. #15
    Senior Member Recycled's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Posts
    604

    Re: Maize AD

    Quote Originally Posted by sjt01 View Post
    Another item Fen Tiger questions is the value of digestate. We have ours analysed before use, and it has proved so valuable that we have been able to cut our fertiliser purchases by about two thirds. We have invested in extra storage, and a trailing shoe tanker, purely to get best value from this. When we used to apply farmyard manure and slurry to the land, we could allow some value to this but the analysis was not reliable. Because the digestate is extremely well mixed, and has better nutrient availability with much of the pollutants removed, we can rely on it as a consistent product to get best value from the nutrients.

    I would like to see crops grown for digestion, but only in conjunction with livestock manures, on a small enough scale to avoid high haulage costs.
    we've been spreading a lot of digestate out of a large ad plant for just over a year now , the stuffs like rocket fuel to grass , when we started doing it a year ago there was a lot of farmers telling us that nobody will want to take the stuff , now theres not enough to go around , the local farmers weren't long taking notice when it was turning the fields dark green round about them

  16. #16
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Holderness
    Posts
    615

    Re: Maize AD

    Quote Originally Posted by S J H View Post
    Is AD government subsidied?
    No form of energy is actually subsidised. The returns are guaranteed which is sensible because otherwise no one would invest.

    The gripe I have is that the return is guaranteed, but the investment is mostly foreign money, with generous tax allowances, which makes starbucks look like petty thieves.

    The local AD plant is successful, but was not viable on agricultural feedstock. Food waste is the only thing around here with enough energy content.

    Jack Caley

  17. #17
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Somerset
    Posts
    2,820

    Re: Maize AD

    Quote Originally Posted by Recycled View Post
    we've been spreading a lot of digestate out of a large ad plant for just over a year now , the stuffs like rocket fuel to grass , when we started doing it a year ago there was a lot of farmers telling us that nobody will want to take the stuff , now theres not enough to go around , the local farmers weren't long taking notice when it was turning the fields dark green round about them
    How much do you apply, how do you apply it, and when? I guess an AD plant needs to have some of the liquor drawn off at regular intervals?? Does it smell and what sort of consistency is it, can you pump it with umbilical, for example?

  18. #18
    Senior Member Recycled's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Posts
    604

    Re: Maize AD

    Quote Originally Posted by Uwork4menow View Post
    How much do you apply, how do you apply it, and when? I guess an AD plant needs to have some of the liquor drawn off at regular intervals?? Does it smell and what sort of consistency is it, can you pump it with umbilical, for example?
    roughly 30 tonne to the hectare works out under 3000 gal to the acre , theyve got a system to take some of the water out of it by heating it using the heat of the gas engines but they've not got it running yet . the digestate itself is ideal for pumping , slightly thicker than water. we apply it with a trailing shoe using the umbilical pipes . thers not much smell of this stuff and the trailing shoe keeps the smell down anyway , but its no worse than slurry , apparently the smell varies from plant to plant though .
    the digestate will be drawen on the main digesters continually , it then goes into a secondary digester where the last of the gas is taken out then it goes into large storage tanks . you just apply it as and when you would apply slurry , this plant is giving it away and spreading it for nothing at the moment but that will change , its ideal stuff to get on early on it the year onto silage fields , gets the grass going as soon as the conditions are right and because it wasnt costing the farmers anything they wernt worried about a fertaliser getting waisted

  19. #19
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Bonsall
    Posts
    189

    Re: Maize AD

    Digestate can smell, but this can be reduced by storing it correctly. The problem is that basically, when you spread it, suddenly you are changing it from anaerobic to aerobic, so if this change can be started whilst it is being stored, odour will be reduced. Further reduction in odour is possible. We've just fitted an Aeromixer in a digestate storage tank at an AD plant in North Wales, due to come on stream soon. If I remember, I'll publish how successful it is at controlling odour. Further reduction in smell can be obtained by passing all gases from the digestate store over a biofilter; Ameram is working on that too, we hope to work on the actual installation.
    Silos, tanks, - and much more! www.mickmoor.co.uk

  20. #20
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Posts
    291

    Re: Maize AD

    "however i think that the government subsidising solar, wind, AD is ridiculous and a scandalous immoral waste of tax payer money. The rising cost of electricity impacts disproportionally on the poorest households and the subsidies/high prices can be seen to be a needless wealth transfer from the poor to the rich (land and home owning) classes."

    if the agricultural industry was not such huge receiver grants and subsidies this argument may old some water but since its not this this argument is a hollow one take all grants that the agricultural industry gets and put them to one side and substitute the feed in tariff in its place "same story different name" as far as I can see!!!

    I agree that that of the world was short of food this may be immoral but as has been stated on previous post there are an awful lot of pony padlocks and poorly maintained land in this country let alone Europe or the world we are not at this stage yet .
    it may well be that after the feed in Tariff ceases that there are nuclear power stations abound and that the energy value alone per kw is not viable to produce energy by solar, wind, or AD however thats an issue for 15 to 20 years time.

    In the interim so what do what your business acumen or conscious allows , it's legal and as far as I can see no one has any right to make an issue of it .

  21. #21
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Posts
    16

    Re: Maize AD

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack_Caley View Post
    No form of energy is actually subsidised. .

    .

    Jack Caley
    ??

    So if you generate power for your own use, dont export anything, and still recieve the FIT, thats not subsidising?!

    Remember Feed in tariff does not mean you are "feeding it in" to the grid!!

  22. #22
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    essex
    Posts
    17

    Re: Maize AD

    [

    In the interim so what do what your business acumen or conscious allows , it's legal and as far as I can see no one has any right to make an issue of it .[/QUOTE]

    i did say i had no issue with farmers doing whatever they like, in terms of how they use their land

    it's government policy i have an issue with - is that alright?

  23. #23
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    North Norfolk
    Posts
    155

    Re: Maize AD

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack_Caley View Post
    No form of energy is actually subsidised. The returns are guaranteed which is sensible because otherwise no one would invest.

    Jack Caley

    All sources of energy are subsidised directly or indirectly. FITs, RoCs, RHI are more obvious, and directly taken from fossil fuel energy bills. Nuclear is heavily subsidised, mainly in the cleanup on decommissioning. Shale gas requires substantial tax breaks before they will drill. Conventional oil and gas and coal are subsidised to the extent that we are having to take expensive measures to counteract the effects of their CO2 emissions.

  24. #24
    Senior Member Recycled's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Posts
    604

    Re: Maize AD

    this is the kind of thing you want going into your plant , 2 artic loads of it , street value of something like 20,000


  25. #25
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    United Kingdom
    Posts
    160

    Re: Maize AD

    Quote Originally Posted by sjt01 View Post
    All sources of energy are subsidised directly or indirectly. FITs, RoCs, RHI are more obvious, and directly taken from fossil fuel energy bills. Nuclear is heavily subsidised, mainly in the cleanup on decommissioning. Shale gas requires substantial tax breaks before they will drill. Conventional oil and gas and coal are subsidised to the extent that we are having to take expensive measures to counteract the effects of their CO2 emissions.
    Nuclear and Shale Gas will actually make a difference.

    AD is nonsense on stilts put up by people chasing a guaranteed payment paid for by an increase in everyones electricity bill as a climate change levy. There's no way it will ever make an imprint on energy supplies and it is seen as more green only by conveniently forgetting the carbon issues elsewhere such as use of fertiliser, soil carbon, erosion, sprays etc. from feedstock. I'm all for innovation but honestly the money would be better spent on insulating more people's houses and managing electrical demand by requiring less usage if they really wanted to do something about Climate change.

  26. #26
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Somerset
    Posts
    2,820

    Re: Maize AD

    Quote Originally Posted by WillyScale View Post
    Nuclear and Shale Gas will actually make a difference.

    AD is nonsense on stilts put up by people chasing a guaranteed payment paid for by an increase in everyones electricity bill as a climate change levy. There's no way it will ever make an imprint on energy supplies and it is seen as more green only by conveniently forgetting the carbon issues elsewhere such as use of fertiliser, soil carbon, erosion, sprays etc. from feedstock. I'm all for innovation but honestly the money would be better spent on insulating more people's houses and managing electrical demand by requiring less usage if they really wanted to do something about Climate change.
    AD using manure, sewage and food waste etc, can't be a bad idea? I know you don't like the idea of the land growing energy crops but we are miles away from running out of food or land to grow it yet Will.

  27. #27
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    north norfolk
    Posts
    572

    Re: Maize AD

    [QUOTE=WillyScale;183710]Nuclear and Shale Gas will actually make a difference.

    great .......certainly rather have ad than nuclear.......just been reading about shale gas..the way i read it there could be 400 years worth but what about the environmental risks???

  28. #28
    Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Bedford
    Posts
    93

    Re: Maize AD

    So if people are saying that AD is a short term answer to produce energy of 20-25 years. Then what is the payback on an AD plant. And what happens to the land that has been used for AD maize production? The beef finisher that was growing will be well gone and forgotten about by then, I'm looking further than 20 years to the future of our business.

    It was 56% of farmers in favour of growing maize for AD
    sjhelliwell.co.uk howbrooktrailers.co.uk

  29. #29
    Senior Member Recycled's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Posts
    604

    Re: Maize AD

    Quote Originally Posted by S J H View Post
    So if people are saying that AD is a short term answer to produce energy of 20-25 years. Then what is the payback on an AD plant. And what happens to the land that has been used for AD maize production? The beef finisher that was growing will be well gone and forgotten about by then, I'm looking further than 20 years to the future of our business.

    It was 56% of farmers in favour of growing maize for AD
    or you could keep on burying all the food waist and it 20 years the'll be a few farms under a coup

  30. #30
    Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Bedford
    Posts
    93

    Re: Maize AD

    Quote Originally Posted by Recycled View Post
    or you could keep on burying all the food waist and it 20 years the'll be a few farms under a coup
    No using food waste and muck I agree with and think its got a future but I don't agree with taking land out of food production to produce energy
    sjhelliwell.co.uk howbrooktrailers.co.uk

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •