27 Jan 2011

Oil seed grower questions new contract prices

1:00 pm on 27 January 2011

A grower of oil seed rape for biofuel is questioning the price being offered for new season's contracts.

Biodiesel New Zealand has 60 farmers from Manawatu to Southland growing the brassica crop.

It wants to almost double the area in production to five to six thousand hectares next year, to meet the growing demand.

Farmers are in the middle of the current oil seed rape harvest and Biodiesel New Zealand is offering growers contracts of $700 per tonne for autumn-sown crops for the next season.

But South Canterbury grower and contractor Jeremy Talbot, who's supplying more than 300 tonnes this year, says while that's an increase of $100 on last year, it does not 'stack up' with current market rates.

He says the contract price for oil seed rape does not compete with returns that farmers can make from other crops.