Miscanthus offers long-term assurance

Farmers are being encouraged to consider growing Miscanthus as an alternative crop. Grown under contract, whole bales are used to fuel renewable energy power stations supported by long-term government grants.

The biomass crop grows well on almost any soil type with minimum inputs and is harvested each spring for potentially 20 years or more.

Farmers interested in finding out more about growing it are invited to a Miscanthus farm walk in Louth, Lincolnshire, on 23rd May to hear from Miscanthus specialist Terravesta, and see a crop.

The host of the walk is arable farmer, Peter Strawson, who grows 34 hectares of Miscanthus on his outlying land and saw the first harvest this year.

“The Miscanthus is on very good quality land but it’s outlying, meaning the combine etc has to be moved a long way, so it’s not practical or cost-effective to grow cereals on it.

“The agricultural sector is hopelessly uncertain (as always) and with Miscanthus you have some most welcome long-term assurance. Generally Miscanthus takes care of itself after its establishment and you don’t have to supervise or cultivate it.

“You don’t need sophisticated machinery to harvest it and local contractors are experienced with the crop, working closely with Terravesta and taking care of the harvest completely”.

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About The Author

John Swire - Deputy editor of Agronomist and Arable Farmer as well as responsibility for the Agronomist and Arable Farmer and Farm Business websites. After 17 years milking cows on the family farm John started writing about agriculture in 1998 and has since written for a variety of publications and has developed a wide circle of contacts within the industry. When not working John is a season ticket holder at Stoke City and also of late has become a fitness freak, listing cycling, swimming and walking as his exercises of choice.