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Miscanthus: maximising return with low input systems

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Farmers and landowners are invited to consider maximising returns and reducing risk with Miscanthus – a renewable energy crop with a rising market demand – at a Shropshire farm walk taking place on the 19th September, hosted by Miscanthus grower, Michael Frank.

Produced for UK power generation and locally for livestock and equine bedding, the crop thrives on unproductive farm land, with little or no inputs, and generates lucrative returns on long-term contracts, promising a move away from the price volatility associated with traditional agricultural markets.

Michael Frank grows 17 hectares of Miscanthus on his farm near Shrewsbury, which was first planted in 2004/2005.

“Miscanthus has been a lifestyle decision for me, because it’s a low input crop. It has never had fertiliser and its going strong and we’re coming up to its 15th harvest in Spring 2020,” says Michael.

“Management costs for Miscanthus are very low, I pay around £80 per hectare to cut and bale it and I employ someone to help me during harvest. The only input cost is very infrequent use of a non-selective herbicide to combat weeds.”

Michael is confident that the crop is good for the environment. “it’s full of small birds and wildlife and I’m hoping it’s good for the soil, because of the organic matter it naturally produces with root matter and leaf litter,” adds Michael.

Shropshire Miscanthus farm walk

Date and time: 19th September, 09:00 – 12:30

Location: Shrewsbury

Format: Registration, coffee and breakfast, followed by a presentation from Terravesta, a tour of the Miscanthus crop.

Cost: F.O.C

Bookings:  Book online by visiting