For long-time ‘fuel-from-the-fields’ advocates Cereals 2006 may come to be remembered as the event at which their dreams finally turned to reality.
Growing crops specifically for uses other than food is hardly new. But the prospect of oil wells running dry, or at least of that precious commodity becoming harder to find and extract, spurred exhibitors keen to exploit agricultural fuel alternatives.
It all underpins feelings that things in the arable sector can only get better. Indeed one commentator predicts the turn around could come much sooner than many growers believe.
As always behind relatively novel ideas there are words of caution. Until the UK’s ability to produce such fuels on a really large scale are translated, as one observer puts it, “into poured concrete”, growers will need to tread carefully.
But there was undoubtedly a real buzz about biofuels not witnessed at previous Cereals events.
Let’s just hope, for UK farmers’ sakes, that they can emulate their US counterparts who control as much as half the country’s bioethanol production.
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