We’ve been inundated with questions about Miscanthus over the last few months! In response, we’ve put together some FAQ’s to bust the Miscanthus myths and help you to decide if it’s the right crop for your farm…
1. How long is the life cycle of Miscanthus?
The crop has the potential to grow for 25-30 years and still produce a viable yield.
2. When is Miscanthus planted and harvested?
Miscanthus is planted April-mid June and harvested Jan-March.
3. How tall can it grow?
It can reach 10-12 feet in height.
4. Is the root system invasive- does it spread?
Miscanthus Athena is a sterile hybrid, it does not produce viable seed and the fibrous roots that look for water are similar to that of wheat. The Miscanthus stays in the area that it is planted and contrary to popular belief, does not destroy drainage systems.
5. Do I have to harvest the crop myself?
No, we work closely with experienced contractors all over the country who can cut and bale your crop.
6. What sort of land does it like?
Miscanthus will grow on most soil types. The most important factor in achieving a successful crop is creating a good seed bed before planting. Miscanthus is suitable for marginal land and can help generate revenue where other crops have failed.
7. Is Miscanthus beneficial for wildlife?
There have been numerous studies which highlight the benefits of Miscanthus for biodiversity. If you would like to know more please contact us!
8. What are the markets for Miscanthus?
Major power generation, equine bedding, poultry bedding and eco fuels are the main end markets where our Miscanthus is used. The possibilities, however, are endless, and include phytoremediation (removing contaminants from soils), construction materials, bio-refining – meaning it can replace fossil fuels on a grand scale.
9. Does Miscanthus make good game cover?
Yes it does. Numerous farms and estates across the country are planting Miscanthus for game cover. The crop provides great shelter and is particularly effective when planted alongside other cover strips. The crop can be harvested after the shoot season has finished.
Can it be grown organically?
Miscanthus does not require nitrogen fertiliser and so can be grown organically, with the crop height out competing any weeds.
11. How can Miscanthus fit into my farming business?
Miscanthus can be planted on marginal land i.e. unproductive arable land, odd shaped corners or outlying fields. It is a fantastic option for not only its return potential, but also for the natural capital benefits.