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Miscanthus calculator projects profits for farmers

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  • 2 min read

Thanks to Terravesta’s new online calculator, growers considering the perennial energy crop Miscanthus can now see its projected long term net margins in an instant. As well as providing a realistic forecast of returns for the next fifteen years, the calculator also provides a useful comparison between Miscanthus and other combinable crops, including wheat, barley and OSR.

By simply inputting the available hectarage, farmers are provided with an easy-to-digest financial illustration of achievable £/Ha each year. “The calculator is completely transparent,” says Terravesta’s business development manager Alex Robinson. “It uses current pricing that is updated monthly for continued accuracy. However, it’s flexible too – so farmers can input their own combinable crop figures for bespoke calculations.

“As growers explore their planting options, they are faced with the uncertainty of variable weather and volatile pricing, making it difficult to depend on a steady and reliable income. Having an accurate 15-year projection will not only help with their planting decisions, it will also be a useful tool when presenting the business case of growing Miscanthus to the bank. The calculator illustrates the long term guaranteed returns of planting the energy crop, where Terravesta contract prices are index-linked and will only continue to rise annually for ten years or more.”

As well as the long term financial rewards of planting Miscanthus, the crop also provides a host of operational benefits for farmers. It only needs to be planted once and will continue to deliver a stable income and commercial yields for 20+ years. Its hands-off nature means input costs are minimal and very little maintenance is required, allowing manpower to be dedicated to elsewhere on the farm. It can also be grown in poorer quality soil and will flourish in wet conditions as well as dry. It will even suppress weed growth, acting as a natural remedy against blackgrass.

For those interested to learn more about the benefits of planting Miscanthus, Terravesta is hosting a series of free farm walks in Lincoln (30th September-3rd October) and Northamptonshire (7th-8th October). As well as a guided tour around working Miscanthus sites, visitors will hear about new processes and techniques that are set to lower establishment costs, and will get the chance to meet with existing growers who will share their experiences with the low-input, high-return energy crop.