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Centre for Alternative Land Use


CALU NEWS - November 2006


The British Pig Executive (BPEX) has launched a new centre to act as a centre of excellence and knowledge transfer for the pig industry. The National Pig Development Centre is a collaboration between the Universities of Leeds and Newcastle and the Veterinary Laboratories Agency (VLA).
Topics identified for initial research include addressing seasonality in outdoor production systems and refurbishing buildings to improve welfare and productivity.
Click here to visit the Centre's website.


Visitors to the biomass event at Coleg Glynllifon



CALU held two well attended open days at its biomass sites in October. Energy specialist, Catherine Heywood, presented a talk on the pros and cons of energy grass production and took visitors on a tour of the energy grass plots.
The event at Coleg Glynllifon was held in conjunction with the Willow for Wales project, allowing visitors to make direct comparisons between energy grass systems and short rotation willow coppice systems.
An added point of interest at this event was a presentation and display by the Hybu Cig Cymru / UWB project on the use of woodchip for animal bedding - highlighting a potential alternative on-farm use for biomass.

UK demand for goat meat is exceeding supply according to The Grocer (14th October). Apparently TV programmes such as Gordon Ramsay's the F Word have raised consumer awareness of goat meat. Goat meat, or chevon, is the world's most popular meat. In Wales, there is a concentration of goat meat producers in Carmarthenshire, where CALU's Goat Meat Producer Group is based.

The Forestry Commission's new Biomass Energy Centre website is now up and running.

CALU's Energy Crop information website will be launching in the very near future. This website will provide potential growers with a wealth of information to help them make informed decisions about growing crops for the energy market.


2006 has seen a bumper apple crop in Wales. This has revived interest in cider production. Cider production is a possible diversfication activity for some of Wales' farmers, particularly those who have retained their orchards and already have a ready supply of apples.

Interest in cider production has also been prompted by the success of the Irish producer, Magners. The company has invested heavily in TV advertising and has seen sales have increased by about one third. UK based Bulmers are also reporting increased profits.

Watch out for CALU's technical leaflet on Cider Production (available in the new year).

The British Potato Council has luanched a new campaign to try and put right some of the common misconceptions consumers have about potatoes.
The campaign, titled Fact not Fiction, is taking a roadshow on tour to bring factual information to shoppers. The roadshow will also have information on recipes.
The BPC also runs a schools project - "Grow Your Own Potatoes". According to the BPC, this project has been instrumental in raising awareness about potatoes, resulting in 96% of children now knowing that potatoes grow in the ground; previously 60% had thought they grew on trees!
To get involved, contact the BPC - www.potato.org.uk.

CALU will be in our usual place on the balcony during this month's Winter Fair. The stall will focus on CALU's project at the Welsh College of Horticulture investigating the best methods of producing and marketing potted herbs.
Visitors will also be able to pick up a copy of the hugely popular "Energy efficiency and energy generation on farm" booklet.


Contact us:

If you have a news item you would like to see featured on CALU's News page, please contact us:

e-mail: calu@bangor.ac.uk


Two new technical leaflets have been added to the CALU Library. These focus on culinary herb production. One looks at field scale production, the other at potted herb production. Several more leaflets will be added to the library soon, including: Dairy Sheep Production; Worm Farming; and Lettuce Production.
If there is a topic you would like to see a technical leaflet written on, let us know!


CALU exists to transfer technology to any business in Wales that is interested in horticulture, biomass, alternative crops, alternative livestock and/or farm woodlands.

CALU is funded by the Welsh Assembly Government