The importance of offsetting agricultural emissions by growing more biomass crops has been highlighted in the NFU’s ‘Achieving Net Zero’ by 2040 plan. Farmers wanting to find out how growing crops such as Miscanthus can help to reduce greenhouse gas emissions as well as provide a long-term income, are invited to attend a Northamptonshire farm walk this November 21.
Miscanthus is a perennial carbon-negative renewable energy crop which is currently grown on around 7,000 hectares of low-grade marginal land in the UK. It’s becoming an increasingly attractive diversification option for farmers looking to lower emissions and benefit from long-term price security.
The farm walk will showcase the new Miscanthus variety Terravesta AthenaTM which has achieved yields 62% above the standard Miscanthus giganteus variety in trials, producing 8t/ha for the first harvest and 12.5 t/ha in year 3.
Northamptonshire farmers, Ashley Eastland, and son Matthew Eastland, will open up their farm on a Terravesta co-hosted event this November.
Ashley planted Miscanthus in 2017 due to a move away from arable farming as a result of the rented land they farmed being sold off. ‘We were left with 40 hectares of our own and we decided to invest in Miscanthus having seen a neighbouring farmer who is successful with it.
“90% of the farm is down to Miscanthus and we are in a long-term, fixed-price contract with crop specialist Terravesta. With the expected reduction of farming subsidies, Miscanthus provides us with assured income for the duration of the crop’s life, which can be over 20 years,” says Ashley.
“Miscanthus takes care of itself and has allowed us to diversify further and we opened a pet food shop just over a year ago which is doing well. There are no inputs with it and it’s great to see no outgoings such as chemical, fertiliser and diesel bills leaving the account,” he says.
To book and find out more about the open day host, Terravesta, visit: https://www.terravesta.com/events
Miscanthus farm walk:
Date: Thursday 21st November
Time: 09:30 – 12:00
Grower hosts: Ashley and Michael Eastland
Location: Bulwick, Northamptonshire
Catering: Full English breakfast served