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Farm walk attracts growers from far afield

22nd December 2016

The final farm walk of the year welcomed 17 potential miscanthus growers, who travelled from far and wide to visit one east Yorkshire grower's crop.

Farmers interested in producing miscanthus to supply the Brigg power station in north Lincolnshire were asked to come forward, and were invited to visit Chris Bradley's set up on December 8th.

"We were really impressed at the keen interest from farmers, and this was definitely shown through the distance some of them travelled on the day," says Terravesta sales and marketing manager, Jacob Duce.

Farmers came to the event from Scotland, Derbyshire and Cumbria, which was hosted by east Yorkshire arable grower, Chris Bradley, and included a tour of two established miscanthus crops on his farm.

"The crops looked great, so I was really pleased for Chris that so many farmers came to see them, displaying miscanthus at its best," says Jacob.

"The weather held out for us too, so farmers could see the impressive height and density of the crop, with many getting their phones out to take photos!" he adds.

The two crops of miscanthus were grown in different soil types and had been drilled in different years, which demonstrated to the farmers the varying conditions in which the crop can flourish.

"The first crop was drilled in 2012, with an average yield of 12tonnes/ha, which is incrementally increasing year on year. Farmers were interested to see that the crop can grow on very heavy boulder clay soils, and despite the very wet spring this year, it's looking great," explains Jacob.

The second field was an older crop, having been drilled in 2006. "The soil type here was light blow away sand, and the field had previously suffered from invasive couch grass prior to miscanthus which needed addressing. In the past 10 years, the crop has averaged a yield of 14 tonnes/ha, and this year's crop's rhizomes are continuing to improve, so expectations are that Chris will get over 15 tonnes/ha in 2017.

"Chris also outlined the infrastructure of the fields, explaining the need to erect rabbit fencing along the edge of the field to give the crop the best establishment conditions, which was good for farmers to see," he says.

"All in all, the day was a huge success and a great farm walk to finish the year on. We had genuine interest from all those who attended, which means we may even have some late recruits for growing miscanthus in 2017," adds Jacob.

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