In an industry first, Cope Seeds and Grain is partnering with Miscanthus specialist,Terravesta, to market its rhizome hybrid Terravesta Athena™.
The new opportunity has been launched to help support the growing need to decarbonise the UK economy with bio-based solutions and fits with Cope Seeds’ regenerative and organic portfolio.
“We work with organic and regenerative farmers, and believe Miscanthus is part of a wide mix of solutions to help store carbon, enhance biodiversity and improve soils on less productive land,” explains Gemma Clarke, Cope Seeds director.
“This new partnership extends our offering to growers, and will support the need to decarbonise agriculture, to reach net zero by 2050,” adds Gemma.
Miscanthus is a long-term perennial crop suited to less productive fields and farmers can now benefit from a finance package from Oxbury Bank to remove virtually all upfront costs of establishment as well as new direct, long-term offtake agreements with end-users, to deliver 10-15-year index-linked annual returns.
Alex Robinson, Terravesta’s chief operating officer is pleased to be working with Cope Seeds. “Cope Seeds is a fellow Lincolnshire-based business operating all over the UK, and prioritises regenerative crop varieties suited to agroecological, low input or organic systems.
“The addition of Terravesta AthenaTM to the Cope Seeds portfolio is a milestone for Terravesta, where Miscanthus sits alongside arable varieties, as a key part of the climate change solution, but not competing with food production.”
Earlier this year, Terravesta published the first dedicated study into the Miscanthus carbon life-cycle. “It shows the crop to be net carbon negative, capturing net 0.64 tonnes of carbon (2.35 tonnes of CO2e) per hectare, per year in the soil, at the very least,” says Alex.
“Terravesta AthenaTM generally takes its first harvest in year two and reaches maturity faster than Miscanthus giganteus, and some of our growers are reporting a first harvest of eight tonnes per hectare, going onto a mature yield of between 10 -17 tonnes per hectare depending on the soil type,” adds Alex.