The Story So Far
"R Hartley and family have lived and worked on this site since 1916, although some of the land has been farmed by generations before since 1882. Mr Hartley planted cereal crops on the farm before making the decision to use this area for Miscanthus."
"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."
"There were some establishment challenges initially and yes you must be on top of pre-emergence herbicides, but ultimately it is about timing the harvest correctly.
We store all our bales undercover on the farm and it was 2 years after planting that we harvested the first yield."
Working with Terravesta
"I have known of Terravesta for a long time. I know Mike Cooper very well as we have work together in previous years. When Mike and his wife started with renewable energy crops in 2007 I took their lead and followed. I feel that our relationship has definitely helped when working with Terravesta. It is a great working relationship."
"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. Nothing came of it at that time but I think maybe it is time to look at it again. We have been keeping an eye on it!
It is currently mainly a source for larger power stations and it would be a shame if it couldnt be utilised on-farm for individuals like myself. Terravestas Grower Fuel Loop is something we will have to look into in more detail.
However the rules are always changing and governments change, so it is a case of keeping up with all the changes and doing something when the time is right."