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Chamber and committees

Question ref. S5W-17953
Asked by: Richard Lochhead, Moray, Scottish National Party
Date lodged: 1 August 2018

Question

To ask the Scottish Government what its response is to concerns that land being used for growing crops to feed anaerobic digesters is having a detrimental effect on Scottish agriculture and feed supplies.

Current status: Answered by Fergus Ewing on 22 August 2018


Answer

In recent years we have seen an increase in the amount of Rye (which can be used in anaerobic digestion plants) being grown in Scotland. Between 2014 - 2017 there has been a 14-fold increase in the area of land given to its production with some 5,500 hectares reported in the 2017 agricultural census compare to 400 hectares in 2014.

The move into energy crop production is a commercial decision made by individual farmers in the interest of their own business. However, the Scottish Government is aware of the current issues surrounding fodder and straw supplies and is in regular dialogue with the industry. We continue to advise farmers and crofters to plan ahead and act collaboratively where possible, as we know many of them will already be doing.