North Yorkshire farmers host Miscanthus farm walk

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Phillip and Chris Lazenby planted 22 hectares of Terravesta Athena in 2021 to help future proof the farm business against reductions in BPS payments, by investing in a perennial crop that delivers a stable, long-term income.

Phillip and Chris are opening the farm at a Terravesta co-hosted farm walk, to let other growers learn about profiting from Miscanthus on Thursday 3rd March 2022.

“We’ve grown Miscanthus since 2006 on a tenanted farm. We like the crop, and since letting go of the tenanted farm, we had some capital to invest on the remaining land we manage.

“Terravesta AthenaTM promises earlier and higher yields than the older variety, Miscanthus giganteus, and gives us annual fixed-price, index-linked returns, on less productive land,” says Phillip Lazenby.

“We also had a bad blackgrass infestation, which despite moving to more spring cropping to tackle the issue, was getting expensive to manage. Miscanthus out-competes it and can obliterate it,” he says.

Phillip explains that the fields planted with Miscanthus are of variable soil types from sandy to heavy clay. “The drone survey results have been very good, showing strong establishment. But you need to prepare the land properly, the autumn before spring planting, and monitor it closely through the establishment phase – once it’s away, it generally takes care of itself, so the early years are important to get right,” adds Phillip.

Phillip and Chris Lazenby are hosting a farm walk with Miscanthus specialist,Terravesta , to let other growers in the region, learn about profiting from Miscanthus growing.

Farmers considering planting the carbon negative crop Miscanthus can now benefit from a finance package to cover virtually all upfront costs for crop establishment, as well as new direct, long-term offtake agreements with end-users, with 10–15-year index-linked annual returns.

Under the new contract, Terravesta will supply its Performance Hybrids, planting equipment and agronomy throughout the crop’s life, ensuring successful crop establishment by committing to a minimum number of plants emerging under its new planting promise.

“Our current rhizome-based variety Terravesta AthenaTM delivers higher yields than the commercially available Miscanthus giganteus, a calorific value increase of 8%, resulting in 180% increase in energy per hectare (megajoules) and significant ash content reduction, all of which benefits the end-user considerably,” explains Alex Robinson Terravesta’s chief operating officer.

 

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About Author

Editor of Agronomist and Arable Farmer as well as responsibility for the Agronomist and Arable Farmer and Farm Business websites. After 17 years milking cows on the family farm John started writing about agriculture in 1998 and has since written for a variety of publications and has developed a wide circle of contacts within the industry. When not working John is an avid follower of Stoke City.