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Fourth-generation Yorkshire farmer beds down pigs with Miscanthus

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  • 2 min read

A fourth-generation farmer who has been involved in arable farming for more than 40 years, is putting his faith in Miscanthus Athena™ crops to keep his livestock comfortable.

Alex Guthe has a 360-acre arable farm at Baker Farmyard, Nether Silton, Thirsk, in North Yorkshire, which is around 250 feet above sea level. He has been harvesting Miscanthus on his farm for four years and hasn’t looked back.

“I would definitely recommend Miscanthus to other farmers,” he said, “It works really well for me.”

Alex also contract rears pigs and finds that his mixture of arable and livestock complements each other very well. Terravesta Athena™ generally takes its first harvest in year two and reaches maturity faster than Miscanthus giganteus.

Alex said: “Our family farm goes back through the generations, like many around here. We have an arable farm with mainly wheat, barley, oats, beans and grass.

“Our miscanthus crop was first sown in 2019 and by 2023 we will have 42 acres of it.

“Our Miscanthus second cut yielded 3.5 tonnes per acre, which we used for bedding for all of our pigs and we have a lot of them. Our 2,500 bacon pigs, are contract reared inside and go to Malton Bacon Factory in Malton, North Yorkshire and all of our Miscanthus goes into providing their bedding.”

Alex says Miscanthus is highly absorbent and is more woody than cereal straw which the larger pigs can deal with.

“We also have 150 acres of grass let out on summer lets,” he said.

You can see the innovative use Alex makes of his Miscanthus crop during a breakfast farm walk on Thursday, September 29, organised by crop specialist, Terravesta.

About the Miscanthus farm walk:

Date and time: Thursday, September 29, 09.30 am – 11.30 am

Address: Baker Farmyard, Nether Silton, Thirsk YO7 2LF

Format: Coffee and registration, followed by a presentation from Terravesta and a tour of the Miscanthus

Cost: F.O.C

Book here: