Friday, October 19, 2018

Terravesta hosts miscanthus open day for farmers

October 1, 2018 by  
Filed under News & Business

An information day for farmers interested in miscanthus will be hosted by Terravesta this month in response to growing interest in the crop.

The perennial renewable energy crop is an increasingly attractive diversification option for farmers due to the long-term price security it offers and well-documented environmental benefits, says the company, which specialises in msicanthus.

Taking place in Northamptonshire on 16 October, the information day will explain how farmers can benefit from long-term, index-linked contracts to grow and sell miscanthus, which is currently grown on around 6,000ha of low-grade marginal land in the UK.

Local farmer Ashley Eastland will showcase 34ha of the crop on his farm at Bulwick. He planted the crop in 2017 due to a move away from arable because rented land was being sold off, leaving him with 40ha, a combine harvester and some big decisions to make.

First harvest

Mr Eastland says: “We decided to plant miscanthus having seen a neighbour who is successful with it. The crop is healthy, and we are looking forward to our first harvest next spring.

“Miscanthus takes care of itself and has allowed us to diversify further and we opened a pet food shop just over a year ago which is doing well. There are no inputs with it and it’s great to see no outgoings such as chemical, fertiliser and diesel bills leaving the account.”

There will also be a Massey Ferguson 2290 Hesston Baler and a Heath SuperChaser MC2 on display at the event – care of agricultural contractor Doug Price from AgriBale, who harvests miscanthus covering an area 200 miles around Peterborough.

“We are a large straw contractor in the UK and due to growing demand for Miscanthus we’re seeing more growers contact us for harvest assistance and with 12 balers we can manage the job comfortably,” he says.

Contracts

Miscanthus is low maintenance, meaning time and effort can be put into productive land, says Terravesta operations manager Alex Robinson. “It also enhances soil health and helps to reduce carbon emissions, absorbing more than it releases in its life and storing it in the soil.”

Brigg renewable energy plant in North Lincolnshire and the Snetterton renewable energy plant in Norfolk both have 14-year contracts with Terravesta – each for the supply of 25,000 tonnes of the crop annually.

Miscanthus open day

Date: Tuesday 16 October 2018
Time: 9.30am to 3pm. Miscanthus field tours at 10am, 12 noon, 2pm
Grower host: Ashley Eastland
Location: Lodge Farm, Bulwick, Northamptonshire NN17 3DY
Cost: Free
Catering: Food and drinks will be served all day

For details, visit www.terravesta.com/#events

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