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Farmers guaranteed straw payments in pooled scheme

Farmers guaranteed straw payments in pooled scheme

AF Biomass Limited is reinforcing its commitment to guarantee payments to farmers for their straw as it extends its operations across the UK.

The professional straw merchants, who market over 100,000 tonnes of straw for the energy, food and farming sectors, is now providing nationwide delivery and quarterly pooled payments, ensuring farmers who join the scheme get an income for their straw.

The business, which is part of the AF Group and whose parent company is purchasing group Anglia Farmers Limited (AF), is also confirming a second year of its AF Straw Barn Scheme in a drive to help AF members reduce losses of straw.

“The cereal straw we market on behalf of our members is used in straw-fired power stations, for animal feed, for animal bedding and used by vegetable growers,” said Mike Giffin, General Manager, AF Biomass Limited. “We are now able to provide nationwide delivery for our straw.”

“Our operations originally served the eastern counties and in more recent times has extended into the Midlands. We are also getting requests for straw from Devon and Cumbria.”

“Farmers who grow straw for us are also now able to benefit from our unique pooled payment scheme which guarantees payment for farmers, with payments made four times per year. The scheme ensures that by the end of April, the year following harvest, farmers will have received 75% of the money regardless of their straw being moved. This allows farmers to know their cash flow situation in any given month.”

AF Biomass offers a wide-range of straw types in a variety of bale types. With typical unprotected outdoor stacks losing 20% of the tonnage in a normal year due to wet weather, AF Biomass is also further supporting farmers with its Straw Barn Scheme with finance over a three-year period.           

Mike Giffin said: “Typically the top bales on barley straw, baled in August and left unprotected and exposed to the elements, would not be suitable for power generation beyond mid-October. AF’s Straw Barn Scheme allows farmers to reduce losses by building 464-square metre barns that do not require planning permission and accommodate around 450 tonnes of straw.”

Farmers looking to grow straw for AF Biomass and in return receive a guaranteed income, or farmers who are considering joining the AF Straw Barn Scheme, should contact AF Biomass on 01603 881 805. AF Biomass is also happy to hear from farmers looking to purchase straw for use for feed, bedding and vegetable production.

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