Biomass Connect, an initiative focused on sharing biomass knowledge, is partnering with Miscanthus specialist, Terravesta, to co-host a Miscanthus establishment and demonstration day scheduled for Thursday, October 26th in Warwickshire. Farmers and rural businesses are invited to attend and discover the potential opportunities associated with growing this perennial energy crop.
This event will run from 10:00 – 14:00 and will be held at the farm of Miscanthus grower, Harry Clark, who will be showcasing 19 hectares of Terravesta Athena Miscanthus.
During the day, soil carbon specialist, Agricarbon, will show how soil coring and analysis works, Cranfield University will give a drone demo, and there will be presentations on the latest research into crop establishment and cultivation from Terravesta and Cranfield University. There will also be the opportunity to speak to Harry Clark about his Miscanthus crop and learn about growing it.
The farm walk will showcase Harry Clark’s 19ha of Miscanthus
Harry Clark and his family, who are second-generation farmers, made a forward-thinking decision to incorporate Miscanthus into their farm’s diversification efforts. This move aimed to enhance the overall quality of life for everyone involved while also prioritising environmental sustainability.
According to Harry, “We were eager to maximise all the resources available on our farm, going beyond the traditional crops and livestock. Our diversification strategy led us to select Miscanthus as a crucial element.
“We planted 19 hectares in 2019, flail mowed it in 2020, and took the first harvest in 2021, where it yielded 3.7t/ha. In 2022, it yielded 6.2t/ha, this year it yielded 6.7t/ha and the crop is looking fantastic ahead of harvest in spring 2024,” says Harry.
“Miscanthus is incredibly resilient, thriving in less-than-ideal growing conditions. It has not only met but exceeded our expectations, proving more profitable than our previous wheat crop.”
Harry believes that most farmers have a couple of fields they struggle to make a viable return with. “Miscanthus is a low-risk option compared to cereal crops on fields which require a lot of inputs and management because it offers a reliable income.
“Previously, we had waterlogging issues in the autumn, but Miscanthus has resolved that problem,” adds Harry.
Biomass Connect Miscanthus Establishment and Cultivation Demo event details:
Date: Thursday 26th Oct 10:00 – 14:00
Location: Hampton Lucy, Warwickshire
Speakers and demos:
- An introduction to Biomass Connect
- An overview of the OMENZ government funded research project from Terravesta
- An outline of the role Cranfield University plays in the OMENZ project
- Crop tour with a short presentation from Terravesta on farming Miscanthus, with harvest machinery on display
- A drone demo from Cranfield University
- A soil coring and analysis demo from Agricarbon
Catering: Complimentary teas, coffees, biscuits, and lunch will be provided
Bookings can be made on the Terravesta website: www.terravesta.com/events/
Biomass Connect and the Terravesta research project, OMENZ, are both funded by the Biomass Feedstock Innovation Programme which is part of the Net Zero Innovation Portfolio, under the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero.