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Calling all Midlands farmers

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Strong growth in energy generation from biomass presents good opportunities for growing Miscanthus on long-term contracts, and increasing demand from whole bale power stations burning Miscanthus, means more planting is needed.

Farmers interested in finding out about growing the crop should not miss the Terravesta and CLA co-hosted Staffordshire farm walk on 22nd November.

The walk is free of charge and guests on the day will have the chance to view a Miscanthus crop speak to the growers, and hear from Terravesta about long-term contracts to supply UK power stations with Miscanthus.

CLA and Terravesta co-hosted farm walk Held by kind permission of Robin and Lesley-Jane Powell

Date and time: Wednesday 22nd November, 10:30 – 14:00
Address: Hammerwich Community Centre, Hall Lane, Hammerwich, WS7 0JP
Cost: F.O.C
Catering: A light lunch will be provided on the day, so please let us know if you have any dietary requirements
Bookings: Please book on our home page or e-mail Jacob Duce on or call on 01522 731873.

About the growers:

Robin and Lesley-Jane Powell, a Staffordshire-based couple, will showcase their Miscanthus crop at the event, to highlight how investing in land to grow it has provided a sustainable income for over 12 years.

The couple decided to invest in land back in 2005 because they were looking for a sustainable and lucrative way to contribute to carbon savings.

Miscanthus seemed like the ideal solution, and today, they have 10 hectares of the crop, with a vision to plant a further six, all supplied to Terravesta – the company at the forefront of Miscanthus market growth in the UK.

“We were one of the early adopters of Miscanthus, and invested in it when it was relatively new in the UK agricultural scene. Our crop was initially grown for rhizome (root stock) propagation, rather than cane production, which means that our cane yields weren’t as high as they could be,” says Robin Powell.

“We’re currently doing remedial work on the crop to thicken it with ground-cultivation, which will increase the yield going forward. But it’s still lucrative, even though we average lower than most growers at 8.5 tonnes per hectare,” he says.

With improved quality of rhizome and planting practices, Miscanthus has the potential to yield 15 tonnes per hectare, which gives the farmer a return of over £900 per hectare.

“Miscanthus is a wonderful crop with strong future prospects. The research and development going into it is exciting. It could potentially be used to make bioplastics, could help restore contaminated land, and at the moment there are extensive trials going on to develop seed based Miscanthus varieties.”

“We’re not farmers, and we’ve committed to land for this crop because it’s simple to manage, its controllable – it doesn’t go rampant, and its climate-resistant. Ultimately, it’s a long-term investment which stacks up financially, and its contributing to carbon savings,” he adds.