Cope Seeds & Grain has linked up with miscanthus specialist Terravesta to market the rhizome hybrid crop variety Terravesta Athena.
The new opportunity has been launched to help support the growing need to decarbonise the UK economy with bio-based solutions – and fits with Cope Seeds’ regenerative and organ- ic portfolio.
“We work with organic and re- generative farmers, and believe miscanthus is part of a wide mix of solutions to help store carbon, enhance biodiversity and improve soils on less productive land,” said Cope Seeds director Gem- ma Clarke.
She added: “This new partner- ship extends our offering to grow- ers, and will support the need to decarbonise agriculture, to reach net zero by 2050.”
Miscanthus is a long-term perennial crop. It is a profitable option for marginal land where farmers find it hard to grow con- ventional crops and long-term agreements mean it is relatively risk-free compared to some oth- er options
Interest in miscanthus has never been greater, says Terraves-
ta. Farmers can now benefit from a finance package from Oxbury Bank to remove virtually all up- front costs of establishment and secure index-linked annual re- turns for 10-15 years.
Terravesta’s chief operat- ing officer Alex Robinson said: “Cope Seeds is a fellow Lincoln- shire-based business operating all over the UK, and prioritises regenerative crop varieties suit- ed to agroecological, low input or organic systems.
“The addition of Terravesta Athena to the Cope Seeds port- folio is a milestone for Terraves- ta – where miscanthus sits along- side arable varieties – as a key part of the climate change solu- tion, but not competing with food production.”
Earlier this year, Terraves- ta published the first dedicated study into the miscanthus carbon lifecycle. It shows the crop to be net carbon negative, capturing at least 0.64t/ha of carbon annual- ly in the soil.
Terravesta Athena is harvest- able from year two. Some of our growers report a first harvest of 8t/ha increasing to a mature yield of 10-17t/ha depending on soil type.