16 May 2013

Farmers encouraged to turn waste into money

6:30 am on 16 May 2013

Farmers will be presented with some bright ideas on how to turn marginal land and waste into money and energy at a bioenergy conference in Rotorua on Thursday.

There will be about 15 presentations at the conference, giving farmers and industry tips on how they can unlock additional revenue from traditional sources.

Bioenergy Association executive officer Brian Cox said those attending will hear just how many opportunities there are for bioenergy on the farm.

He said it's a good time for farmers to look at how they are using the waste that is often generated on a farm from shelter belts, dairy sheds or any other organic matter.

Mr Cox said farmers can use that to create income by production of different forms of energy.

"Now that could be production of biogas which they could use in their diesel vehicles on the farm, it could be making electricity from that same biogas or it could be selling woodchip to people who can use that in their heat plant."

Mr Cox said biofuels have a bad reputation in parts of the world as they're seen as crops which divert resources away from food production and into energy production.

He said the Bioenergy Association is all about keeping New Zealand's food production where it is and using marginal land to make energy crops.