Technology does not exist in a vacuum. Farmer’s choices about what to grow are influenced by a multitude of factors, such as their sense of identity, culture, and a preference for food production. As part of PBC4GGR we will interview existing growers of perennial biomass crops, and farmers who don’t grow the crops, so that we can better understand motivations and constraints.
Perennial biomass crops sit differently in the landscape when compared to arable crops or to grazing land. The area of farmland in the UK planted with perennial biomass crops is going to need to increase significantly in order to meet the UK’s legally binding climate change commitments. This will not be a wholesale change; it is projected to be around 5% of agricultural land by 2050. Nevertheless, we need to understand what rural communities think about these changes in land use, in order to better plan where to plant these crops in the future and to inform policy.