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Farm Business Innovation Show success

  • Blog
  • 3 min read

We had a great couple of days at the Farm Business Innovation event, at the NEC in Birmingham on November 11 and 12. The show aims to provide farmers and landowners with guidance in rural opportunities and land diversification, so it’s an ideal platform for us to speak to producers interested in expanding their businesses.

We had unprecedented interest from farmers and landowners enquiring about planting miscanthus. Attendees wanted to find out about diversifying their farms and maximising marginal land with the crop, because it offers secure returns, with minimal resource requirements.

Most of the people we spoke to wanted to know more about the specifics of growing the crop, and the secure profitability it offers. And, for more detail into this, we also ran a daily seminar, which was extremely popular.

We had an engaged audience both days. George Robinson presented a seminar on Miscanthus profit, certainty, security and opportunity in volatile times.Looking at opportunities in a volatile market is a subject that sparked a lot of interest, as many of the visitors were looking to diversify for additional, secure income.We spoke to attendees about growing and harvesting the crop. And although many visitors were aware of the crops rising viability, many weren’t aware that it’s harvested late winter, early spring, and that it fits very well into the typical cropping year. Or that it’s planted once, on lower grade marginal land, and yields annually for 20 plus years.

Ultimately, we got across that diversifying into this crop means low inputs and high returns. Growing miscanthus offers greater security of high annual net margin than almost any other crop, while reducing working capital and overhead costs.

Farmers were interested in accessing our online calculator, showing the possible net return £/ha on miscanthus each year, and calculating an average for the next 15 years, based on minimum likely crop life, and this is something that’s impossible to do in arable crops because of price volatility.

The calculation is based on a 15-year average price of £528/ha for miscanthus, and this is a conservative estimate. Terravesta contract prices are index-linked, and will continue to rise annually for 10 years or more.

Farmers showed interest in how this accurate projection can help with planting decisions, and is a useful tool when presenting the business case for growing miscanthus to the bank.

All in all, it was a great trip out for the team, and a chance to speak to potential future growers about this fantastic crop, and the stable enterprise we have developed, that fits well on almost any farm, either arable or livestock.

Check out out our Miscanthus section to see how it can work for you.