Following on from the success of the March Miscanthus harvest demo in Kings Lynn, an extra Norfolk event has been announced to feed unprecedented interest in the crop.
More growers are looking at planting Miscanthus since Snetterton Renewable Energy Plant opened in 2017, and those wanting to learn more can attend a free farm walk on 19th June, near Norwich.
Date and time: 19th June 10.30 – 2.00 pm
Address: Brick Kiln Farm, Kerdiston, Norwich, Norfolk, NR10 4RR
Format: Coffee and registration, followed by a presentation from Terravesta, a crop and a light lunch
About the grower:
The walk is being hosted by arable farmer and contractor Andrew Bentley, who planted eight hectares of Miscanthus on low lying meadows which, although fertile, have an issue with waterlogging and blackgrass.
“Cereal crops struggled due to the waterlogging, and blackgrass was becoming an issue. Miscanthus seemed like a solution, and since planting in 2014, blackgrass is no longer a problem and we’ve had three good harvests,” says Andrew.
Due to improvements in rhizome (root stock) quality, newly planted crops are being harvested in their second year rather than their third. “The first year we didn’t cut the crop, but in 2016, we had 6 tonnes/ha. In 2017 we harvested 13 tonnes/ha, and this year, 11.5 tonnes/ha. We’re a little down in 2018 because harvest has been late due to wet weather, but it’s still a good result, and the yields should increase in future.”
“Since Snetterton opened, the bales have been collected quickly, whereas before, they we’re going up to Brigg Renewable Energy Plant in North Lincolnshire and collection took a little longer,” he says.
“Miscanthus is the perfect solution for problem land,” adds Andrew.
Andrew has a long-term contract with Terravesta and Terravesta has a 14-year contract with Snetterton Renewable Energy Plant for the annual supply of 25,000 tonnes of the crop. The company is co-hosting the farm walk with a view to arm guests on the day with everything they need to know about planting, growing, harvesting and selling Miscanthus.