Guaranteed contracts for miscanthus
Severe restrictions on credit availability for farmers growing miscanthus have prompted the introduction of a new annual payment contract for growers.
Quinns of Baltinglass are offering farmers a guaranteed payment of €100/ac per year, without any financial investment by the farmer.
The company is targeting an additional 1,000ac of miscanthus from new growers in 2010, in addition to its existing supply base of 3,000ac.
Paddy O'Toole from Quinns said the contracts were a response to the lack of bank funding for farmers who were interested in growing the energy crop.
"Potential growers were finding that banks would not approve funding," he explained.
"We were looking at the acreage of new growers as being little or nothing this year, which would have been a disaster.
"This contract means there is no financial investment by the grower and he has a guaranteed return from the crop."