The potential for miscanthus to thrive in traditionally problem fields is being showcased at a Terravesta and Woldmarsh hosted event being held at a Lincolnshire farm on October 13.
“In any arable crop rotation there are going to be problem fields,”said the manager of the host farm, and Lincolnshire farms manager for Flagleaf Farming, Jim Beeden (pictured).
Flagleaf Farming is a group of farms in Lincolnshire that provides men and machines to farm 10 different farm businesses totalling 2,832ha.
“Of this, we manage a total of 102ha of miscanthus, growing on marginal land, the oldest of which was planted in 2006,” Mr Beeden added. “If they’re honest, a lot of arable farmers will be able to identify problem fields that aren’t making any money.
“To those farmers, I’d say be frank with yourselves, and look at how much those problem fields are actually making you. The money made from fields that are only yielding 7t/ha of wheat are going to be sapping margins because the small profit they make will go back into the time and effort it takes to farm that land.
“The Terravesta and Woldmarsh hosted farm walk will showcase our set up at Hackthorn, Lincoln, and will allow farmers to find out whether miscanthus is a planting option for their difficult fields.
“Over this past year we’ve expanded so fast, adding a further 1,214ha to the land we manage and contract farm, and we’ve planted an extra 36ha of miscanthus in these new areas this year.
“As we’ve grown, we’ve planted up more miscanthus, because it’s essential to our long term strategy.
“It allows us to farm the good land well, and make a profit on the poor land with the crop, because it thrives on it and requires very little time and input cost.”
Jim Beeden has worked closely with the miscanthus specialist Terravesta since 2006. Terravesta organises the supply of rhizome to plant the crop, and buys back the bales destined for biomass pelleting, and it offers 10-year, RPIX-linked contracts.
Terravtesta and Woldmarsh hosted miscanthus farm walk at Hackthorn
Date and time: October 13, 2015 at 10:30
Location: Hackthorn, LINCOLN LN2 3PQ
Format: Coffee and registration, followed by a presentation from Terravesta, a tour of the farm and a light lunch
Cost: Free of charge
Book online by clicking on the orange sash on the home page at: www.terravesta.com.