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Miscanthus harvest ’24 top tips

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  • 2 min read

Due to the delayed harvest this year, some crops may have new shoots emerging in the coming weeks. Miscanthus is incredibly resilient and any new shoots that are damaged while being travelled on will be replaced by new growth.

Only a small number of shoots would be affected and the crop will cope well this early in its growth cycle. It is not as bad as new growth being burned off by frost, which has happened in previous years.

Clearly, we are in the midst of a challenging harvest, with prolonged rain on the fields preventing the water levels from subsiding. Timing going forward is the key!

Please be as prepared as possible to maximise opportunities for cutting and baling with your contractors when the land/swath is ready to go.

Last year crops were cut and baled well into May without any long-term damage.

When to cut? 

Check the bottom metre of the stems by peeling away all of the leaf sheath, back to the smooth stem. If that is substantially green, then you cut ASAP. This will allow for the sap to run out.

Leave the swath to dry, and if required, turn the swath before baling ensuring no leaf litter is raked with the crop (preferably using a PTO-driven turner) – this will allow the swath to dry quickly and more evenly.

Baling immediately after cutting locks any sap in and risks high moisture content. If you can allow time for the swath to dry, it will give you the best opportunity to produce a crop with low moisture (between 10-14%), allowing you to optimise your financial return.  

We are always on hand and ready to give you more detailed advice where required. Please call, email, send pictures or WhatsApp for more information. 

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