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Drax green shoots growers update

Posted in: by Alex Robinson on 16 February 2017

Drax green shoots growers met with the Terravesta team at Monk Fryston Hall, North Yorkshire, in early February, to find out about working with us and plan for the year ahead.

We had a great attendance with 23 people joining us on the day and the longest Q & A session we've ever had at a grower meeting!

William Cracroft-Eley, Terravesta chairman, gave a market overview and discussed how growing miscanthus stacks up despite subsidy reduction, as well as outlining emerging markets for the crop.

I updated the group on contracts and operational processes for 2017, and Jacob Duce, Terravesta sales and marketing manager, outlined new planting opportunities.

We explained why locking into a long-term contract offers better returns and we announced the new barn storage scheme - which rewards growers for storing bales for longer, with an extra £4 per tonne available for storing crop past December.

Feedback was encouraging because all of the growers wanted to find out about how to improve crop performance. We distilled the myth that miscanthus is a 'deck chair' crop.

This isn't the case, and although miscanthus requires less maintenance than most alternative crops, remedial action can help to boost yields, and the more time and effort you put into the crop, the more you will get out.

In older, well-established crops, we're seeing compaction beginning to limit crop productivity. Compaction may be caused by cutting and baling in wet conditions or where bales may have been stacked on the field, or even as a result of repetitive turning/traffic due to awkward field shapes. The only way to alleviate this is by sub-soiling , if the soil conditions allow.

Crops that are thin or have small gaps can be thickened by sub-soiling and ground cultivation, in order to spread the rhizomes into the empty spaces. If you feel that this is something you may wish to consider, please contact Terravesta for advice on the most appropriate methods for your soil type.

Where you have large gaps, sub-soiling and thickening will not be enough to fill these and it could be worth considering infill replanting.

Ultimately, we were really pleased with the enthusiasm from the growers and are encouraged by the interest in improving crop performance.

For more information on remedial work please get in touch: agronomy@terravesta.com

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Miscanthus has a great future in the UK as an energy crop. There is one company which understands and can work with growers, can process the crop to produce sustainable. high quality fuel and energy and can sell those products to end users. Terravesta is that company.

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