FARMERS IN the north of England considering alternative crops to boost their incomes are being urged to consider growing miscanthus.

Drax power station near Selby, the UK‘s largest coal fired power station, has appointed Bical energy to set up and establish a local producer group.

The power station has requested that Bical supply the plant with up to 100,000 odt (oven dried tonnes) per year by 2010.

Bical energy has estimated this will require up to 10,000ha (24,709ac) of miscanthus to be planted in 2005 and 2006.

“With the problems currently facing UK agriculture, this progressive and leading development by Drax power is an important milestone in the developing partnership between farmers as renewable energy fuel suppliers, and power stations in support to help the UK government, meet its commitments to reduce CO2 emissions,” said David Croxton, managing director of Bical energy.

Farmers wishing to seek further details should contact Mr Croxton on 01984 656 606