Lincolnshire farm walk explores ideal solution for problem land

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The Elwes Estate in Lincolnshire comprises 1000 hectares and in 2021 it took the decision to plant Miscanthus on six fields which were making a loss in the arable rotation. These fields will be showcased on a farm walk taking place on Wednesday 1 June 2022. 

The event is co-hosted by agricultural consultancy Active Business Partnerships(ActiveBP) and Miscanthus specialist,Terravesta, and runs from 9:30 – 11:30am. 

The farm walk will look at the 45 hectares of Miscanthus planted on wet, heavy clay fields with an aggressive blackgrass infestation, where farm operations manager, Andrew Radley, says it’s made his life easier. “We were making a loss on the fields, they looked fine in the autumn months, but come springtime, the wet soil and blackgrass was a bad combination,” he says. 

Mr Radley explains that the Miscanthus establishment went well, and the crop should fill out and out-compete the blackgrass. “The high canopy of the crop should smother the blackgrass.

Place on poor ground

“Miscanthus has a place on any type of poor land, and we are planting more this year,” adds Mr Radley.

Peter Roberts, farm business consultant at Active Business Partnerships, says the less productive fields on the farm are wet and problematic, and Miscanthus is proving to be the ideal solution. 

“Miscanthus has minimal inputs and no fertiliser, so it’s low maintenance and means efforts can be concentrated on the rest of the farm, while the Miscanthus takes care of itself.

“Before the Miscanthus, the cereals could be in standing water for long periods, and now this doesn’t matter, in fact, the crop thrives in it and the leaf litter which is shed from plants each year and the underground rhizome network should help to stabilise the soil and assist harvesting in the spring,” he says. 

At the farm walk, Peter Roberts and Alex Olivant from ActiveBP will be outlining why they selected these fields for the Miscanthus and Terravesta will update on growing, harvesting and selling whole Miscanthus bales at 9:30 – 11:30 am on Wednesday 1st June 2022.

The event is free of charge, and anyone interested in finding out about Miscanthus is welcome to come along.

About the Miscanthus farm walk:

Farm walk host: Andrew Radley, farm operations manager, and Alex Olivant and Peter Roberts from Active Business Partnerships 

Date and time: Wednesday 1st June, 9:30am – 11:30am

Location: Scunthorpe, Lincolnshire 

Cost: F.O.C

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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.