GROWING MISCANTHUS

Miscanthus is a revolutionary biomass crop taking the world by storm!

Equipped with an infinite arsenal of talents, it reduces CO2 pollution, because it absorbs more carbon than it releases and stores it in the earth.

It’s been identified as the most efficient raw material on the earth to produce biofuel. This means future uses are endless, from making plastics to producing building materials.

Miscanthus has plenty of other tricks up its sleeve; it produces a crop every spring without the need for replanting, its super-efficient at converting sunlight into biomass, it reaches heights of over three metres with no requirement for fertiliser, with the potential to yield 12 – 17 tonnes per hectare and it can grow pretty much anywhere, even in the harshest conditions or poorest grade land.

What’s more, Terravesta is confident that enough crop can be grown to fulfil the global demand and make a real impact, helping to protect our precious world.

KEY STAGES OF GROWING

MISCANTHUS GROWTH CYCLE

GROUND PREPARATION

CUTTING, DRYING & BALING

BALING SPECIFICATIONS

PLANTING

MISCANTHUS FACTS

GROWING MISCANTHUS
CONTRACTOR MAP
CASHFLOW

CONTRACTOR CONTACTS

Please select your region to see a list of contractors

Yorkshire & The Humber

Cutting

  • Tim Russon
    T: 07721333558
  • KH Wendt
    T: 07568581870
  • Chris Liversedge
    T: 07973965490
  • Paul Ducksbury
    T: 07860269788

Baling

  • KH Wendt
    T: 07568581870
  • Paul Ducksbury
    T: 07860269788
  • Richard Francis
    T: 07786134161
  • Andy Holmes
    T: 07973120620
  • JS & J Buckley
    T: 07850652131
  • Paul Headley
    T: 07860712261

West Midlands

Cutting

  • Wilson Farming
    T: 07817220671

Baling

  • Stephen Banks
    T: 07712627858
  • Rob Deane
    T: 07889780572

East Midlands

Cutting

  • Tim Russon
    T: 07721333558
  • KH Wendt
    T: 07568581870
  • Adam Preston
    T: 07968309140
  • Mick Hurst
    T: 07765401618
  • Paul Ducksbury
    T: 07860269788

Baling

  • KH Wendt
    T: 07568581870
  • Adam Preston
    T: 07968309140
  • Paul Ducksbury
    T: 07860269788
  • JN & AJ Austin Ltd
    T: 07860574665
  • Rob Deane
    T: 07889780572
  • Dennis Stocks
    T: 07973549338

Central England

Cutting

  • Adam Preston
    T: 07968309140
  • Mick Hurst
    T: 07765401618
  • Agri-Bale
    T: 07515744135
  • Phil Benson
    T: 07860232632

Baling

  • Adam Preston
    T: 07968309140
  • Agri-Bale
    T: 07515744135
  • Phil Benson
    T: 07860232632
  • Dennis Stocks
    T: 07973549338
  • JN & AJ Austin Ltd
    T: 07860574665
  • Rob Deane
    T: 07889780572
  • Graham Watts
    T: 07966444332

South West

Cutting

  • Mark Andrew
    T: 07767870400
  • Alvis Contracting
    T: 07787241341
  • A & B Contracting
    T: 01271882006
  • Chris Awdry
    T: 07885243446
  • Ian Webber
    T: 07831364644

Baling

  • Mark Andrew
    T: 07767870400
  • Alvis Contracting
    T: 07787241341
  • Ian Webber
    T: 07831364644
  • Phil Hill
    T: 07774989120

East Anglia

Cutting

  • Tim Russon
    T: 07721333558
  • Agri-Bale
    T: 07515744135
  • KH Wendt
    T: 07568581870
  • Dean Bartram
    T: 07880793399

Baling

  • Agri-Bale
    T: 07515744135
  • KH Wendt
    T: 07568581870
  • Dean Bartram
    T: 07880793399
  • Richard Sneath
    T: 07860633455

Mid South Wales

Cutting

  • Stepside Agri
    T: 07966521386

Baling

  • Stepside Agri
    T: 07966521386
Terravesta Contractor Map MID & SOUTH WALESEAST ANGLIASOUTH WESTCENTRAL ENGLANDEAST MIDLANDSWEST MIDLANDSYORKSHIRE & THE HUMBER
GROWING MISCANTHUS
CONTRACTOR MAP
CASHFLOW

MISCANTHUS PRODUCTION CONTRACT VS. ARABLE NET MARGIN (£'s/ha)

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GROWING MISCANTHUS
CONTRACTOR MAP
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BACK TO TOP

MEET THE GROWERS

MICHAEL BOWDEN BERKSHIRE ARABLE & LIVESTOCK FARMER
RICHARD GOTHARD SOMERSET MISCANTHUS GROWER
MARK WISEMAN ARABLE MANAGER
MIKE COOPER ADVISOR AND GROWER GROUP DIRECTOR
RICHARD HARTLEY OXFORDSHIRE ARABLE FARMER
CHRIS BRADLEY EAST YORKSHIRE ARABLE FARMER
WILLIAM CRACROFT-ELEY MISCANTHUS GROWER AND TERRAVESTA CHAIRMAN
JIM BEEDEN LINCOLNSHIRE FARMS MANAGER
JOHN FARRINGTON WEST SOMERSET ARABLE, GRASS AND FORESTRY FARMER
ED GREEN LINCOLNSHIRE ARABLE FARMER
BILL LEWIS NORFOLK ARABLE AND SHEEP FARMER
Back

MICHAEL BOWDEN

MISCANTHUS SOLUTION FOR RECLAIMED LAND

"Finding a crop to grow on land formerly utilised for gravel extraction, that's also prone to waterlogging, has been a challenge. After numerous crops failed, we planted Miscanthus in 2007, and it’s been remarkably resilient.

"The crop was exposed to extreme weather from the off, with an uncharacteristically dry establishment, and then flooding, and we didn't have a lot of hope for it. But it came good.

"Growing miscanthus has worked for us, and I'd encourage other growers to consider it on lower yielding land. On marginal land it has a place, and with maize, wheat and barley prices what they are, it makes sense to grow a low input, high-yielding crop that does well on typically difficult areas."
Plus

Farm Facts

LOCATION
Reading, Berkshire
FARM TYPE
Mixed arable and livestock
MISCANTHUS PLANTED AREA
15 hectares
FARM SIZE
270 hectares
YEAR PLANTED
2007

MICHAEL BOWDEN

MISCANTHUS SOLUTION FOR RECLAIMED LAND

Tap for more details
"Finding a crop to grow on land formerly utilised for gravel extraction, that's also prone to waterlogging, has been a challenge. After numerous crops failed, we planted Miscanthus in 2007, and it’s been remarkably resilient.

"The crop was exposed to extreme weather from the off, with an uncharacteristically dry establishment, and then flooding, and we didn't have a lot of hope for it. But it came good.

"Growing miscanthus has worked for us, and I'd encourage other growers to consider it on lower yielding land. On marginal land it has a place, and with maize, wheat and barley prices what they are, it makes sense to grow a low input, high-yielding crop that does well on typically difficult areas."

Farm Facts

LOCATION
Reading, Berkshire
FARM TYPE
Mixed arable and livestock
MISCANTHUS PLANTED AREA
15 hectares
FARM SIZE
270 hectares
YEAR PLANTED
2007
Back

RICHARD GOTHARD

FROM FIELD TO FURNACE: THE HOME-GROWN HEAT SOURCE

"Our biomass boiler sits just 100 metres away from our home grown miscanthus crop. Its sustainability is fantastic in that it just keeps on growing every year, with minimum inputs. Its self-sufficient and reduces our carbon footprint. In all my greenhouse gas (GHG) reporting, the emissions are 12 times lower than the DECC's target."

"My agronomist described miscanthus as 'the grass of the future' and it's a crop that offers a good alternative for growers to consider. I believe it has an important role to play in the future of renewable fuels, and compared with timber, miscanthus is capable of yielding twice the amount of dry matter as a deciduous woodland per hectare over a 40-year period.

"We planted eight hectares of the crop in 2002. Now we grow 100 hectares. It looks after itself once it's been established. It also guarantees us returns for 20 years with average margins of £445 per hectare after harvesting costs."
Plus

Farm Facts

LOCATION
Taunton, Somerset
FARM TYPE
Miscanthus, maize and grassland
MISCANTHUS PLANTED AREA
100 hectares
FARM SIZE
134 hectares
YEAR PLANTED
2002

RICHARD GOTHARD

FROM FIELD TO FURNACE: THE HOME-GROWN HEAT SOURCE

Tap for more details
"Our biomass boiler sits just 100 metres away from our home grown miscanthus crop. Its sustainability is fantastic in that it just keeps on growing every year, with minimum inputs. Its self-sufficient and reduces our carbon footprint. In all my greenhouse gas (GHG) reporting, the emissions are 12 times lower than the DECC's target."

"My agronomist described miscanthus as 'the grass of the future' and it's a crop that offers a good alternative for growers to consider. I believe it has an important role to play in the future of renewable fuels, and compared with timber, miscanthus is capable of yielding twice the amount of dry matter as a deciduous woodland per hectare over a 40-year period.

"We planted eight hectares of the crop in 2002. Now we grow 100 hectares. It looks after itself once it's been established. It also guarantees us returns for 20 years with average margins of £445 per hectare after harvesting costs."

Farm Facts

LOCATION
Taunton, Somerset
FARM TYPE
Miscanthus, maize and grassland
MISCANTHUS PLANTED AREA
100 hectares
FARM SIZE
134 hectares
YEAR PLANTED
2002
Back

MARK WISEMAN

BEATING BLACKGRASS WITH MISCANTHUS

"When the battle against blackgrass has been lost, and yields of wheat gets increasingly less competitive, finding an alternative can be tricky.

"Miscanthus has dealt with a blackgrass problem because the high crop canopy literally swamps it and blocks out the light. We grow 26 hectares of Miscanthus on heavy clay land that’s prone to flooding, and it’s doing well, filling out nicely and continually improving.

"The beauty with Miscanthus once it's established is that it'll keep producing year-on- year, with year six being the optimum year. In other words, once the rhizomes are in place, it's just a case of letting it get on with itself over the next 20 years.”
Plus

Farm Facts

LOCATION
Abingdon, Oxfordshire
FARM TYPE
Mixed arable and livestock
MISCANTHUS PLANTED AREA
26 hectares
FARM SIZE
607 hectares
YEAR PLANTED
2012

MARK WISEMAN

BEATING BLACKGRASS WITH MISCANTHUS

Tap for more details
"When the battle against blackgrass has been lost, and yields of wheat gets increasingly less competitive, finding an alternative can be tricky.

"Miscanthus has dealt with a blackgrass problem because the high crop canopy literally swamps it and blocks out the light. We grow 26 hectares of Miscanthus on heavy clay land that’s prone to flooding, and it’s doing well, filling out nicely and continually improving.

"The beauty with Miscanthus once it's established is that it'll keep producing year-on- year, with year six being the optimum year. In other words, once the rhizomes are in place, it's just a case of letting it get on with itself over the next 20 years.”

Farm Facts

LOCATION
Abingdon, Oxfordshire
FARM TYPE
Mixed arable and livestock
MISCANTHUS PLANTED AREA
26 hectares
FARM SIZE
607 hectares
YEAR PLANTED
2012
Back

MIKE COOPER

THE MISCANTHUS ADVOCATE – PRACTICING WHAT HE PREACHES

"We currently grow miscanthus for rhizome production (rhizome propagation), while Terravesta buy the harvested cane.

"I also work with the Terravesta team and provide growers with practical agronomic advice and with my experience in growing it, I can give hands-on, workable solutions to ensure farmers get the best from the crop.

"Miscanthus is a key player in balancing the food energy debate, as it complements arable production by an efficient sustainable energy balance. You need less acreage to grow the crop, and it yields well. And you can plant it on poor grade land that's difficult to produce cereals crops on, particularly land that's prone to flooding or has blackgrass issues. You plant the crop once, and yields keep on improving year-on-year. The annual harvest gives a reliable income to the farmer, with minimal inputs required over the 20-year crop cycle.”
Plus

Farm Facts

LOCATION
Somerset, Lincolnshire, Staffordshire
FARM TYPE
Arable, some mixed farming
MISCANTHUS PLANTED AREA
349 hectares
FARM SIZE
Various
YEAR PLANTED
2007

MIKE COOPER

THE MISCANTHUS ADVOCATE – PRACTICING WHAT HE PREACHES

Tap for more details
"We currently grow miscanthus for rhizome production (rhizome propagation), while Terravesta buy the harvested cane.

"I also work with the Terravesta team and provide growers with practical agronomic advice and with my experience in growing it, I can give hands-on, workable solutions to ensure farmers get the best from the crop.

"Miscanthus is a key player in balancing the food energy debate, as it complements arable production by an efficient sustainable energy balance. You need less acreage to grow the crop, and it yields well. And you can plant it on poor grade land that's difficult to produce cereals crops on, particularly land that's prone to flooding or has blackgrass issues. You plant the crop once, and yields keep on improving year-on-year. The annual harvest gives a reliable income to the farmer, with minimal inputs required over the 20-year crop cycle.”

Farm Facts

LOCATION
Somerset, Lincolnshire, Staffordshire
FARM TYPE
Arable, some mixed farming
MISCANTHUS PLANTED AREA
349 hectares
FARM SIZE
Various
YEAR PLANTED
2007
Back

RICHARD HARTLEY

IDEAL SOLUTION FOR SMALL AWKWARD FIELDS

"We chose Miscanthus as the land we have is split in to small, awkward fields with poor access and poor drainage. It is hungry land that is low in nutrients, so obviously it is hard to farm and high on input costs.

“We have found that Miscanthus benefits us in lots of ways. It is an energy crop with minimal inputs and whilst it is a complete diversification for us, having Miscanthus in fields where previously there were cereal crops has helped to protect us against poor cereal prices.

"We are in the process of using a harvestable grain cover crop and we even looked at using Miscanthus as a fuel source for ourselves. It’s currently mainly a source for larger power stations and it would be a shame if it couldn’t be utilised on-farm for individuals like myself.”
Plus

Farm Facts

LOCATION
Oxfordshire
FARM TYPE
Pigs and arable
MISCANTHUS PLANTED AREA
22 hectares
FARM SIZE
540 hectares
YEAR PLANTED
2007

RICHARD HARTLEY

IDEAL SOLUTION FOR SMALL AWKWARD FIELDS

Tap for more details
"We chose Miscanthus as the land we have is split in to small, awkward fields with poor access and poor drainage. It is hungry land that is low in nutrients, so obviously it is hard to farm and high on input costs.

“We have found that Miscanthus benefits us in lots of ways. It is an energy crop with minimal inputs and whilst it is a complete diversification for us, having Miscanthus in fields where previously there were cereal crops has helped to protect us against poor cereal prices.

"We are in the process of using a harvestable grain cover crop and we even looked at using Miscanthus as a fuel source for ourselves. It’s currently mainly a source for larger power stations and it would be a shame if it couldn’t be utilised on-farm for individuals like myself.”

Farm Facts

LOCATION
Oxfordshire
FARM TYPE
Pigs and arable
MISCANTHUS PLANTED AREA
22 hectares
FARM SIZE
540 hectares
YEAR PLANTED
2007
Back

CHRIS BRADLEY

BOOSTING BUSINESS AND LIFESTYLE: THE MOVE FROM COMBINABLE CROPS

"I opted to plant Miscanthus back in 2006 due to the diverse mix of soil types on my farm. I was struggling to achieve strong arable yields on our lighter land, which was drought-prone with blow away sand. Combinable crops weren't flourishing, wheat prices were poor and I had to make a decision that would make business sense for the farm. I started with 24ha of Miscanthus and with continued successful yields over the years, this has since expanded to a full 40ha - making up 50% of the whole farm.

"I used to contract out the whole farm but I've taken 40ha of arable back in hand and planted Miscanthus because it's so straightforward, plus its growing cycle doesn't conflict with my other crops. Having turned 60, opting to plant Miscanthus has been a definite lifestyle choice and it's given me more time for myself and my other interests - including my Westfield car, which I like to say is powered by the profits I make from my successful Miscanthus yields!

"I'm thoroughly behind all the hard work that Terravesta does to grow the Miscanthus market and to encourage best practice amongst farmers, ensuring they achieve the very highest quality crop for best returns. I firmly believe (and it's certainly worked for me) that if you look after Miscanthus correctly, it will look after you!"
Plus

Farm Facts

LOCATION
Brough, East Yorkshire
FARM TYPE
Arable and Miscanthus
MISCANTHUS PLANTED AREA
140 hectares
FARM SIZE
100 hectares
YEAR PLANTED
2006

CHRIS BRADLEY

BOOSTING BUSINESS AND LIFESTYLE: THE MOVE FROM COMBINABLE CROPS

Tap for more details
"I opted to plant Miscanthus back in 2006 due to the diverse mix of soil types on my farm. I was struggling to achieve strong arable yields on our lighter land, which was drought-prone with blow away sand. Combinable crops weren't flourishing, wheat prices were poor and I had to make a decision that would make business sense for the farm. I started with 24ha of Miscanthus and with continued successful yields over the years, this has since expanded to a full 40ha - making up 50% of the whole farm.

"I used to contract out the whole farm but I've taken 40ha of arable back in hand and planted Miscanthus because it's so straightforward, plus its growing cycle doesn't conflict with my other crops. Having turned 60, opting to plant Miscanthus has been a definite lifestyle choice and it's given me more time for myself and my other interests - including my Westfield car, which I like to say is powered by the profits I make from my successful Miscanthus yields!

"I'm thoroughly behind all the hard work that Terravesta does to grow the Miscanthus market and to encourage best practice amongst farmers, ensuring they achieve the very highest quality crop for best returns. I firmly believe (and it's certainly worked for me) that if you look after Miscanthus correctly, it will look after you!"

Farm Facts

LOCATION
Brough, East Yorkshire
FARM TYPE
Arable and Miscanthus
MISCANTHUS PLANTED AREA
140 hectares
FARM SIZE
100 hectares
YEAR PLANTED
2006
Back

WILLIAM CRACROFT-ELEY

COVERTING 10% TO MISCANTHUS – THE BUSINESS CASE

“William's decision to plant Miscanthus came at a bad time for arable farmers, when wheat prices had fallen to just £65/tonne. He knew that it was time to look for a reliable, profitable and long-term arable solution - and that the increasing market for UK-grown energy crops was the place to look.

“After planting in 2006, there ensued a few turbulent years for the Miscanthus market, and William made it his mission to bring order and transparency to supply. He brought growers together by establishing Miscanthus Growers Ltd in 2009 and went on to found Terravesta to develop a secure and strong market for Miscanthus as the UK's no.1 energy crop - grown locally and burnt locally.

“As well as boasting low overheads and minimal inputs, Miscanthus can be grown on poorer quality land while still delivering high annual yields for 20 or more years. By planting Miscanthus on Hackthorn's marginal land, William has actually enhanced production across the rest of the farm. Dedicating 10% of his land to Miscanthus in 2006 has seen a reduction of just 2% in overall cereals yield.”
Plus

Farm Facts

LOCATION
Hackthorn, Lincolnshire
FARM TYPE
83% arable
MISCANTHUS PLANTED AREA
52 hectares
FARM SIZE
830 hectares
YEAR PLANTED
2006

WILLIAM CRACROFT-ELEY

COVERTING 10% TO MISCANTHUS – THE BUSINESS CASE

Tap for more details
“William's decision to plant Miscanthus came at a bad time for arable farmers, when wheat prices had fallen to just £65/tonne. He knew that it was time to look for a reliable, profitable and long-term arable solution - and that the increasing market for UK-grown energy crops was the place to look.

“After planting in 2006, there ensued a few turbulent years for the Miscanthus market, and William made it his mission to bring order and transparency to supply. He brought growers together by establishing Miscanthus Growers Ltd in 2009 and went on to found Terravesta to develop a secure and strong market for Miscanthus as the UK's no.1 energy crop - grown locally and burnt locally.

“As well as boasting low overheads and minimal inputs, Miscanthus can be grown on poorer quality land while still delivering high annual yields for 20 or more years. By planting Miscanthus on Hackthorn's marginal land, William has actually enhanced production across the rest of the farm. Dedicating 10% of his land to Miscanthus in 2006 has seen a reduction of just 2% in overall cereals yield.”

Farm Facts

LOCATION
Hackthorn, Lincolnshire
FARM TYPE
83% arable
MISCANTHUS PLANTED AREA
52 hectares
FARM SIZE
830 hectares
YEAR PLANTED
2006
Back

JIM BEEDEN

LOW INPUTS, HIGH RETURNS: AN ARABLE FARM MANAGER'S CHOICE

We'd tried various other arable options on some of our worst-performing areas and found we were dedicating a lot of time, effort and money to high-risk land, with consistently disappointing results. Becasue Miscanthus flourishes in both heavy wet soils and free-draining soils, as well as areas with a rock base (which causes rooting and drainage problems), it provided the ideal solution.

“We're part of a joint venture contracting business called Flagleaf Farming and we don't receive the Single Farm Payment or other grants, so every crop has to be worth the risk and make absolute financial sense for us to turn a profit. Unlike other crops we have tried, Miscanthus lets us generate secure returns from problem land, doesn't conflict with other crops and fits well into our routine. It also frees up time and manpower that we invest in improving productivity elsewhere.

“Because we have a long-term contract with Terravesta, we also have a guaranteed market for all of the in-spec Miscanthus we can produce, which gives us great peace of mind. Knowing the prices are index-linked offers an even greater level of security.”
Plus

Farm Facts

LOCATION
Lincolnshire (various)
FARM TYPE
Farm contracting business
MISCANTHUS PLANTED AREA
71 hectares
FARM SIZE
1214 hectares
YEAR PLANTED
2006

JIM BEEDEN

LOW INPUTS, HIGH RETURNS: AN ARABLE FARM MANAGER'S CHOICE

Tap for more details
We'd tried various other arable options on some of our worst-performing areas and found we were dedicating a lot of time, effort and money to high-risk land, with consistently disappointing results. Becasue Miscanthus flourishes in both heavy wet soils and free-draining soils, as well as areas with a rock base (which causes rooting and drainage problems), it provided the ideal solution.

“We're part of a joint venture contracting business called Flagleaf Farming and we don't receive the Single Farm Payment or other grants, so every crop has to be worth the risk and make absolute financial sense for us to turn a profit. Unlike other crops we have tried, Miscanthus lets us generate secure returns from problem land, doesn't conflict with other crops and fits well into our routine. It also frees up time and manpower that we invest in improving productivity elsewhere.

“Because we have a long-term contract with Terravesta, we also have a guaranteed market for all of the in-spec Miscanthus we can produce, which gives us great peace of mind. Knowing the prices are index-linked offers an even greater level of security.”

Farm Facts

LOCATION
Lincolnshire (various)
FARM TYPE
Farm contracting business
MISCANTHUS PLANTED AREA
71 hectares
FARM SIZE
1214 hectares
YEAR PLANTED
2006
Back

JOHN FARRINGTON

THE MAINTENANCE FREE MOVE FROM BEEF CATTLE TO MISCANTHUS

"My parents and I first started working with Miscanthus on Farrington Farms in 1999. The family farm had previously been mixed cereals and beef cattle - but under the increasing threat of BSE, Foot and Mouth and TB we made the decision to look into other income streams.

"Having reduced our workforce and ceased the commercial beef enterprise, we had less manpower and fewer resources available - so the move to a low-input crop like Miscanthus made perfect sense. Initially we focused our efforts on rhizome production, but in 2003 we planted Miscanthus for cane production on a mixture of grassland and arable land. Over the next three years we gradually expanded our planting to 50 hectares.

"Primarily Miscanthus made business sense for our farm. Wheat prices at the time were fairly low, and with a reduced team, Miscanthus provided a solution to both of these. Firstly, aside from annual harvesting, there are very few input costs associated with the crop. Secondly, its low-maintenance nature means it needs less attention than other arable crops, allowing us to dedicate our management time to other farm projects, which included converting a large farm building into offices."
Plus

Farm Facts

LOCATION
Wiveliscombe, West Somerset
FARM TYPE
Arable, grass, forestry, renewables
MISCANTHUS PLANTED AREA
50 hectares
FARM SIZE
220 hectares
YEAR PLANTED
1999 – 2006

JOHN FARRINGTON

THE MAINTENANCE FREE MOVE FROM BEEF CATTLE TO MISCANTHUS

Tap for more details
"My parents and I first started working with Miscanthus on Farrington Farms in 1999. The family farm had previously been mixed cereals and beef cattle - but under the increasing threat of BSE, Foot and Mouth and TB we made the decision to look into other income streams.

"Having reduced our workforce and ceased the commercial beef enterprise, we had less manpower and fewer resources available - so the move to a low-input crop like Miscanthus made perfect sense. Initially we focused our efforts on rhizome production, but in 2003 we planted Miscanthus for cane production on a mixture of grassland and arable land. Over the next three years we gradually expanded our planting to 50 hectares.

"Primarily Miscanthus made business sense for our farm. Wheat prices at the time were fairly low, and with a reduced team, Miscanthus provided a solution to both of these. Firstly, aside from annual harvesting, there are very few input costs associated with the crop. Secondly, its low-maintenance nature means it needs less attention than other arable crops, allowing us to dedicate our management time to other farm projects, which included converting a large farm building into offices."

Farm Facts

LOCATION
Wiveliscombe, West Somerset
FARM TYPE
Arable, grass, forestry, renewables
MISCANTHUS PLANTED AREA
50 hectares
FARM SIZE
220 hectares
YEAR PLANTED
1999 – 2006
Back

ED GREEN

BANISHING BLACKGRASS AND PROFITING FROM PROBLEM LAND

“I first trialled Miscanthus in one of my problem fields in 2010. Originally planted with wheat, the land there was extremely clay-heavy and ridden with blackgrass. All this meant that my wheat crop was producing very low yields, so I decided to see how Miscanthus would fare. The crop is still flourishing, and I now no longer have to spend money on controlling the blackgrass, as Miscanthus acts as a natural remedy.

"In fact, my experience was so positive that I decided to plant Miscanthus in two more of my fields in 2011. Like the first field, one of these had heavy land and blackgrass, so the switch to Miscanthus was an obvious one. The other had very light land, with insufficient depth for growing potatoes. It was also drought-prone, with considerable (sometimes plough-breaking) bedrock, making it very difficult to cultivate.

“Faced with low wheat prices and a worsening blackgrass situation on some of my land, Miscanthus held the key to my problems. I'm very pleased I made the decision to plant. Most of my farm is contracted out, so I'm now making significant savings on establishment costs. Planting processes have come on a long way, too, with rhizomes larger and moister than they used to be - meaning they can withstand today's unpredictable weather conditions much better.”
Plus

Farm Facts

LOCATION
Glentham, Lincolnshire
FARM TYPE
Arable
MISCANTHUS PLANTED AREA
50 hectares
FARM SIZE
370 hectares
YEAR PLANTED
2010 & 2011

ED GREEN

BANISHING BLACKGRASS AND PROFITING FROM PROBLEM LAND

Tap for more details
“I first trialled Miscanthus in one of my problem fields in 2010. Originally planted with wheat, the land there was extremely clay-heavy and ridden with blackgrass. All this meant that my wheat crop was producing very low yields, so I decided to see how Miscanthus would fare. The crop is still flourishing, and I now no longer have to spend money on controlling the blackgrass, as Miscanthus acts as a natural remedy.

"In fact, my experience was so positive that I decided to plant Miscanthus in two more of my fields in 2011. Like the first field, one of these had heavy land and blackgrass, so the switch to Miscanthus was an obvious one. The other had very light land, with insufficient depth for growing potatoes. It was also drought-prone, with considerable (sometimes plough-breaking) bedrock, making it very difficult to cultivate.

“Faced with low wheat prices and a worsening blackgrass situation on some of my land, Miscanthus held the key to my problems. I'm very pleased I made the decision to plant. Most of my farm is contracted out, so I'm now making significant savings on establishment costs. Planting processes have come on a long way, too, with rhizomes larger and moister than they used to be - meaning they can withstand today's unpredictable weather conditions much better.”

Farm Facts

LOCATION
Glentham, Lincolnshire
FARM TYPE
Arable
MISCANTHUS PLANTED AREA
50 hectares
FARM SIZE
370 hectares
YEAR PLANTED
2010 & 2011
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BILL LEWIS

90% ESTABLISHMENT ON WATERLOGGED LAND

"In 2013 we made the decision to plant 15 hectares of miscanthus in a field that was historically poor permanent pasture, prone to flooding. We tried growing winter wheat, sugar beet and linseed on it and it all failed.

"It's the sort of land that's difficult to establish crops on, because it's water logged. It’s low lying, at 20 feet below sea level, so the surrounding land drains into it. This meant we were spending a fortune on inputs and preparing the seed beds. We had 90% success with Miscanthus establishment, and the support we've received from Terravesta has been invaluable.

"The key to a successful crop is good soil and seed bed preparation, and the only thing to follow this is a pre and post emergence herbicide application, and if the site is prone to rabbits and hares, the crop needs to be fenced off. After this it requires minimal inputs, no fertiliser and next to no crop protection. It fits in with the rest of the arable work, and Terravesta is continually growing the market for the crop."
Plus

Farm Facts

LOCATION
KINGS LYNN, NORFOLK
FARM TYPE
ARABLE AND SHEEP
MISCANTHUS PLANTED AREA
30 HECTARES
FARM SIZE
470 HECTARES
YEAR PLANTED
2013 AND 2015

BILL LEWIS

90% ESTABLISHMENT ON WATERLOGGED LAND

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"In 2013 we made the decision to plant 15 hectares of miscanthus in a field that was historically poor permanent pasture, prone to flooding. We tried growing winter wheat, sugar beet and linseed on it and it all failed.

"It's the sort of land that's difficult to establish crops on, because it's water logged. It’s low lying, at 20 feet below sea level, so the surrounding land drains into it. This meant we were spending a fortune on inputs and preparing the seed beds. We had 90% success with Miscanthus establishment, and the support we've received from Terravesta has been invaluable.

"The key to a successful crop is good soil and seed bed preparation, and the only thing to follow this is a pre and post emergence herbicide application, and if the site is prone to rabbits and hares, the crop needs to be fenced off. After this it requires minimal inputs, no fertiliser and next to no crop protection. It fits in with the rest of the arable work, and Terravesta is continually growing the market for the crop."

Farm Facts

LOCATION
KINGS LYNN, NORFOLK
FARM TYPE
ARABLE AND SHEEP
MISCANTHUS PLANTED AREA
30 HECTARES
FARM SIZE
470 HECTARES
YEAR PLANTED
2013 AND 2015
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RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT

There’s an urgent need for alternatives to crude oil, coal and natural gas and the hundreds of materials which are refined from them. Extracting them from the earth is damaging to the environment and the way they are used is polluting the earth.

Miscanthus is a viable alternative to fossil fuels and Terravesta is leading the way in Miscanthus plant breeding, along with other global partners, paving the way for the future by developing new varieties to fulfil the growing global demand.

Read on to find out more about our exciting Miscanthus projects

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