Growers across the grainbelt have stood up in unison against BP palming off decades-old timber sharefarming contracts, accusing the energy giant of lacking transparency with landowners. About 100 Great Southern farmers have been left tied up in a “profit a prendre” with BP — managed by Forest Products Commission — after the company “reassigned” its interests to forestry management enterprise Ents Forestry. The move caused major backlash across the region, as farmers were “shocked” to receive the letters in the midst of seeding, prompting a community meeting and the formation of a local action group. The 40-year contracts involve plantations of various sizes and species — many of them maritime pines — on farms, which were established in the 1990s and 2000s and anticipated to generate harvest revenue and carbon credits for farmers. But many farmers claim they have been mismanaged by the FPC and become all but worthless, and they want out of the contracts and control of their land back. More than 40 affected farmers came together on Monday night at a meeting chaired by WA Farmers president John Hassell in Katanning to voice their disapproval of the changeover. Carrolup farmer Bev Kowald opened the discussion alongside a wall of slogans stating “more anguish for tree farmers” and “control over our land”. She called the meeting after receiving the letters from BP and Ents Forestry in the hope of bringing affected farmers together before they signed the transferred contracts. She said by taking on BP’s contracts, Ents Forestry would get the same cut of any harvest profits that BP would have, which was as much as 85 per cent. “They would like to take over the contracts which vary from 70-30 (per cent) in their favour to 80-20 to 85-15,” she said. “In this area ... we stand to get something like one dollar per metric tonne.” Kojonup farmer David McFall — who is heading the local action group — said the base of the problem was the lack of transparency in regards to the reassignment. He said the potential changes in arrangements had created anger and confusion for growers. “A lack of communication about the plantation management plan and those figures that are being projected, they need to be verified, because right now they are indicative,” Mr McFall said. He said the agreements had gone from being in the best commercial interest of all parties, to the opposite, with the common denominator the mismanagement of land by the FPC. “This has resulted in underperforming plantations and poor fair farm relationships,” he said. A working group was formed made up of local farmers Luke Oliver, Freya Spencer, Bev Kowald, Dave McFall, Phil Brunner and Bob Lilliman. “We want the matter to be out in the open so we can move forward with the best available options for those plantations,” Mr McFall said. We need more research to get an idea of where the estate is, who the farmers are involved and to bring everybody together including the FPC to get it resolved.” A BP spokesperson said the company was working with landowners on the path forward.